CoachUp MVP Awards: Chase Wickham

CoachUp MVP Awards: Chase Wickham

Back in July, we allowed our athletes and parents to vote for their favorite coaches across the platform so we could highlight the winners. Of those winners, the full article can be found here, Chase Wickham, a soccer coach from North Carolina received our award for Most Impactful, accompanied by this small blurb:

"Coach Chase comes in with a plan and follows up almost immediately with a detailed report of the session for the parent. There is no question that he wants true success for his student. Since Coach Chase has played soccer professionally, he has an amazing knowledge of the game and he also has the wonderful gift of teaching as well -- to have both of these qualities is a rare find in a coach."

Now, we're so pleased to follow-up on that fantastic winner from before! We're proud to present another one of Coach Chase's success stories -- be sure to shoot him a message if you want to train or would like to send him some congratulations!

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Luca Antonacci found Coach Chase through CoachUp with the desire to play at a higher level; he was bound and determined to do whatever it took to do this. On a hot summer day in June, Luca stepped out of his car with the thermostat reading 102 degrees and 156 degrees when you take into account the heated synthetic grass fibers on the turf below him. But, in order to be the best, you've got to train through the worst.

So, over and over they trained as Coach Chase helped meld Luca into an intriguing soccer prospect. However, the development aspect of the game is not only raw soccer skills. An even bigger part of the game is the psychological scope in which the game is analyzed and processed then followed by future execution -- this is the foundation in which Coach Chase prides himself. 

Through vigorous exercises that push his athletes to the max, sometimes even breaking them, he builds them back up, equipped with such traits to carry out the in-game, instinctive execution. With proper hydration and encouragement, he was able to complete the session driven by the words from Coach Chase:

“Most players going to training camp are sitting inside playing FIFA, eating chips, and drinking coke while you are out here putting in the work and getting better… Today you are taking someone else’s spot on the roster.”

Luca will never forget that session; he came out of it a better soccer player and person building up character traits to develop unmatched perseverance and diligence. As Luca’s dad comments:

"There are two aspects to Chase’s training. First is a focus on technical improvement and the second is an improved mindset. These changes in mindset, however, are just as important, strengthening his entire game with improved confidence and focus. Ultimately, this has resulted in a more relaxed style of play overall that has helped him really stand out from the crowd in practices, games, and tryouts.”

Over the last three months, Luca has worked with Chase once a week and, in the process, has moved to the top team in Charlotte Soccer Academy North Division. Luca was also invited to the Olympic Development Program regional camp in Alabama after having a great showing at the North Carolina ODP camp. Even better, Luca was one of the few ninth graders to make the varsity team at Providence Day School, a school known for elite soccer in the United States. But the best part of his training successes? Luca was selected to play for the Barcelona-U.S. All-Star team from the Barcelona FC camps and he traveled to the Spanish city this past fall. In front of Barcelona FC, and other Spanish clubs top youth team coaches, Luca preformed at the highest level and was asked to move to Cornellà de Llobregat in Spain for a ten-month commitment.

World Class talents like Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi played at Cornellà; as well as Landon Donovan who was the face of the U.S. soccer over the last decade. All these achievements were seized in the matter of five months of working with Coach Chase consistently. It won't always be fun and it won't always be easy -- but those training sessions in between good and great are the ones that make and shape the athlete they will become!

A massive congratulations to both Luca and Coach Chase on their awesome achievements!

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