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Scots Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach Alex Castaneda

Batesville (AR)- Along with appointing Emmanuel Santos as the head coach, Lyon’s men’s soccer team also welcomed Alex Castaneda as the assistant to a new beginning. Castenada decided the next step in his young coaching career would be at Lyon College, and he was eager to learn under Santos. But who is Alex Castaneda?

Alex Castaneda- Assistant Coach

Castaneda graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a master's degree in Sports Administration. At Eastern Illinois, Castenada always dreamt about coaching, and his opportunity arose when Lyon College needed an assistant Men’s soccer coach. Castenada also played soccer, and his position was center-attacking midfield.

When we questioned what inspired Castaneda to become a coach, he said, “Just the ability to help develop players that are in the same position I was. And I mean it has always been a dream of mine to become a head coach. I think just being able to teach and develop players to reach that next level is something that I've always wanted to do, and that's why I'm doing it now. I am also a huge fan of Sir Alex Ferguson, which inspired me to become a coach and help others transition to excellent players.”

With coaching comes great responsibility, and Castaneda has a clear idea of what he looks for in players to help boost the program. “Discipline is the most important factor I look for in a player. It is also key for players to understand the game; and what they need in order to be successful at the highest level. But the main factor I look for is discipline, and that is something I try to bring when I am coaching. My goal is to ensure players have that discipline on and off the field. Because if there's no discipline then it's just a team that is not together as one. It's kind of just all over the place. Everybody kind of doing their own things, but just kind of having that discipline as a coach is something that leads to the players. Having that good discipline, honesty, and integrity of the game is something that I take into consideration when I coach.” Some wise words by the young assistant coach.

Although Lyon’s men’s soccer did not have the season they wished for last fall, there are certain positives to take as Santos and Castaneda gained some more experience.

What are Castaneda’s expectations for the upcoming season?

Castaneda said, “Just motivation from our players to develop a bit further on their own. There's a lot of stuff we were not able to do with them until later in the year. I think if they're able to kind of develop on their own and kind of do what they need to do now, then when it comes to the end of March — then we're able to kind of just jump into things and kind of get moving a lot faster then having to start from scratch.” To become a successful athlete, one must work twice as hard in the off time. Castaneda hopes for the players to work during their off time. They are either working on their academics or perfecting their craft for the soccer field.

Almost every person lives by some motto or slogan that keeps them motivated throughout their life. So how does Coach Castaneda keeps himself motivated to give his all to the program? Castenada described the one slogan that stuck with him throughout his time as a player at his former school. He said, “We had a slogan at my old school, where it is to leave the program at a better place than you found it. And I've kind of just taken that, it's like anywhere I go, I want to be able to leave my mark. I don't want to go somewhere and then just fail year after year, and not turn things around. And I think that's something that I want my players to do and I want myself to continue doing. It is just going somewhere where I know I can make a change to the program in a positive way.

And I know if I ever leave that they'll know that this guy left the program in a good way.”

This also tied into Castaneda’s goal for the future. He claimed, “Obviously I'm a young coach and I think just by being given this opportunity, it was a good thing for me at my age. Being as young as I am and having the amount of experience I have I would be able to come in here and aid in the progression of the program. And right now I think it's going in the right direction when it comes to culture and when it comes to academics and stuff like that.” Castaneda continues to work diligently on the sideline, perfecting his coaching skills to be able to offer even more to Lyon.

Castaneda had some positive words to leave the youths who potentially would like to become a coach in their future. “You need to have that motivation, that goal in mind that where you want to be, you kind of have to know what you want to do in the future, what your plan is in the next 10 years. You need to know what you want to do. If you don't think coaching is something you can do, then it's probably not something that you're going to do in the future. But if you know coaching is what you want to do, then you just have to take that advanced step and kind of do the things that will help you become a better coach. Do a lot of training online, meet other coaches, networking. The big one for me is just getting to know coaches, getting to know how they turn this program good. You need to know how and what didn't work for them as a first-year coach. And I think that's something that you have to do to reach, kind of reach that next level. Just talking to people, networking with other coaches, and kind of get your name out there so that they can call you later down the road if they need a coach and you'd be someone that they can call.”

In the end, it is clear that Castaneda has the determination to leave his mark on Lyon College and help the program reach higher heights. Both Santos and Castaneda are eager for the upcoming season as we debut in the SILAC conference with the drive to win it all.

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