The Mastermind

Once you’re part of Coach Christian’s community, you’re there for life. Not because he won’t let you go, but because you never want to leave. Maybe it’s his smile or his soft-spoken manner. Maybe it’s the humor he sees in almost everything. Whatever it is, it makes you want to come back for more. Since 2002, Christian has been a camp icon, growing from leading our soccer activities, to overseeing the coaches and the daily programming. Putting everything we do — and want to do — to the “Why Not?” test has meant we have an ever-expanding list of activities and events.

A veteran coach with club, high school and collegiate experience, he’s got a dance card that is full to the brim. The little time and energy he has left after coaching the Girls Varsity Soccer team at Palisades Charter High School, several squads at soccer club Santa Monica Surf, and running his own training and development operation, Pacific Soccer Academy, he dedicates to mighty mite Margot, the ball of energy he shares with Coach Tracey. Will she be an athlete like Dad or an artist like Mom? She’ll probably be a doctor. And Coach Christian will be thrilled.


The Advocate

At 12, it was obvious that Coach Natalie was a force. While still officially a camper, Natalie saw that help was needed at Rookie Camp. So without giving it a second thought, she dove in. And there she stayed for eight years, running the program for through most of her tenure. She loved the Rookies and they loved her. After graduating from Colorado College, she became a teacher. Makes sense, no? True to her core, she became an emphatic voice for her kids. When budget cuts and fiscal mismanagement left teachers having to scrounge for basic classroom supplies, Natalie fought back, using her own money to buy what she could, and writing articles and editorials to shed light on the situation. She’s taken her commitment to another level, producing a podcast, Small Tales, a collection of stories just for kids. Having Coach Natalie back in our fold is a highlight of our summer. Now she’ll get to be a highlight of yours.


The Jester

Coach Pete tries hard to be serious. He’s got a point and a plan, and he delivers both with heartfelt commitment. But even as he’s conveying the most solemn minutiae, the twinkle in his eye overwhelms his intent, and the laugh reveals his deepest core. He’s a man with three great passions: football, the original kind, and particularly, Arsenal football; his wonderful wife, Krysti, and their two canines supreme, Napoleon and Stella; and, well, the third one you should ask him about yourself.

He joined Coast Sports in 2002, after coming across “the pond” to impart his special brand of humor-laced soccer to a new constituency here in the colonies. A semi-pro back home in the UK, he coached professionally, while acquiring his English FA coaching license. Since moving to the U.S., he’s coached soccer in 15 different states and is a US Soccer Federation “B” licensed coach. His current assignment is coaching the Varsity Girls Soccer team at Culver City High School.

When Coach Pete isn’t watching soccer, coaching soccer or breathing soccer, he’s healing from his five soccer-induced knee surgeries, all of which he can laugh about now.


The Conscience

Coach Joe grew up at camp. Arriving in 2008, he made his presence known early, with his commanding performances of “Rolling in the Deep,” imitations of Jar Jar Binks, and blistering political commentary, surprising from even the most precocious of eight-year-olds. He thrived on the court, in the field, and in everything else we did, embracing our culture of inspired lunacy with passion and commitment. Possessed of a quick wit and a sharp tongue, Joe is heading off to Kenyon College to spread his brand of social commitment and good-natured subversion to the Midwest. I hope they’re ready.


The Heart

Everything Coach Tracey touches blossoms into a work of art. With the sparest of materials – some fallen leaves, a paper towel roll, some glitter and a few dots of glue – she can create a universe of wonder, or at least the Eiffel Tower. Tracey has been enthralling campers with her bountiful talents and limitless creativity since 2002. Add in her natural warmth, which draws even the artistically-resistant campers to her arts & crafts table, and you can see why she has always been our most popular coach.

Tracey’s an RYT 500 hour yoga teacher, who specializes in prenatal moms and kids. Her pottery skills are off the charts, and she imparts them to adults as well as to kids. Her photographs are museum-worthy. And don’t forget Margot, Coach Tracey’s most priceless creation.