Described by his peers as a "Master Teacher", Charles has 35+ years of experience educating, coaching, and leading youth players and coaches.
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!”
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.
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:
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!
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.