Who We Are
SoccerGenius is the brainchild of International Youth Expert, Charles Richard Cotton, and has been operating in Calgary, Canada since 2007. SoccerGenius serves thousands of people – young and less young - each year through our various programs at the new SoccerGenius Development Centre.
During a sunny spring day of 2006 in Calgary, Charles was enjoying a practice coaching his daughter’s U10 team. While explaining a player movement and passing drill (what has since become one of the core SG Geometry patterns), he called out to the girls “That’s great SoccerGeniuses!”
Described by his peers as a "Master Teacher", Charles has 35+ years of experience educating, coaching, and leading youth players and coaches.
Little did Charles know that these simple, innocent words would become the foundation of his life’s work.
Suddenly, this unleashed a wave of new “SoccerGenius” ideas, best practices, and development plans. That very same Spring, Charles created the SoccerGenius Pledge (in both English and French) and has been using it to inspire kids ever since.
The core principles of SoccerGenius took shape, including:
- Focus on skilful development first, instead of focus on winning at all costs
- Equal playing time
- Equal position learning
- Progressive skill development leading to advanced skills and knowledge
- Positive, specific praise to build confidence and inspire players
- Playing Well, Having Fun, and Being Amazing!
The results were immediate and significant. The girls played with poise, control, and a flair that is rarely seen in youth soccer. The team was known for their exemplary mature, skillful and respectful fair play.
As Charles developed the SoccerGenius Long-Term Athlete Development system and understood the real reasons children and youth played soccer, he realized the local minor soccer association and club model were not meeting the players deeper developmental needs – physically, mentally, or emotionally.
After much deliberation, Charles decided to leave the minor soccer club scene to focus on building the SG programs for a new generation of players. He was sad to say goodbye to the First Ladies of SG but excited to have the opportunity to dedicate more time to growing the company.
The next 5 years were spent researching and testing all of the SoccerGenius methods. Charles consulted with experts from all over the world, including Brazil, UK, Middle East, Asia, US, Ivory Coast, The Netherlands, and many more. He constantly worked to distil the best practices, correct progression of skills and knowledge, and engaging teaching methodology – all of which continue to evolve to this day.
During this time, Charles obtained an International Coaching License from the FA, National License in Canada, and National Long-Term Development specialty. All of the research, training, and certification helped lead to the creation of the SoccerGenius System as it is today, including:
- The Adventurers Program
- Skills Development Leagues
- SOGA – Soccer Yoga
- SoccerGenius Cup
- HomeSkills Magic
- ISGA Coaching programs
A NEW VISION FOR YOUTH SOCCER AND SPORT
We envision a world in which qualified and compassionate adult leaders teach the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in sport and life – and then get out of the way so people can create and play!
THE SOCCERGENIUS MISSION
To transform youth sport into an athlete-centered, fun, skill-based learning environment that inspires all people to play well, have fun, and be amazing – in sport and in life.
VALUES THAT GUIDE US
SoccerGenius is dedicated to upholding these values in our daily actions:
Honest Personal responsibility Creativity Genuine Fun Non-violence
Respect Clear Communication Personal Challenge Balanced Life Priorities
Family Time Celebrating Successes A Healthy Lifestyle
Discipline Commitment Timeliness Inspiring instruction
Compassionate Leadership Positive Relationship & Community Building
Service Orientation Skill Development and Growth Mindset