JoBen in Rwanda with Beyond Boundaries!

26 Jul

Our fearless leader, Joben, is currently in Rwanda with our non profit Beyond Boundaries.  On top of owning and operating two Soccer Shots franchises in Orange County, CA and Miami, FL, raising three beautiful young children, and recently moving the whole family to the East Coast, JoBen has been sacrificing any free time he may or may not have to one of his true passions, spreading the game of soccer to underprivileged kids internationally.  Check out to learn more about what JoBen is doing for Beyond Boundaries currently, as well as past and future action.


JoBen using a translator to teach one of our favorite games, Mad Dog, to the kids.

For those of you who do not know JoBen, he grew up on a Missionary base in the jungles of the Amazon basin in Peru until he was 18 years old.  He has a huge heart for soccer, as well as giving back to the same sort of communities he grew up in as a child.  With Beyond Boundaries he is able to combine the two.  Beyond Boundaries’ mission statement is to donate sustainable soccer academies to developing communities and help in the character development of young children through the platform of soccer.

Currently he is in Rwanda at the Wellspring Academy.  He has taken over 100 new soccer balls and other soccer equipment with him to donate to the school.  In addition, he is also sharing to the staff at the Wellspring Academy his knowledge of soccer academies, including character development, fun soccer games for the kids, and financial, accounting, and budgeting strategies.  All of this will ensure that the Wellspring Academy can provide a quality soccer program to their students for years and years to come.

We, at Soccer Shots OC, are so proud to be a part of Beyond Boundaries.  We are blessed to be able to positively impact the lives and growth of children here in the Orange County area, and it is a true honor to be able to also positively impact kids internationally also.  We are so excited what Beyond Boundaries is doing right now in Rwanda, what we have already done in Peru (check it out here,, and our plans for the future next year in Nigeria.

Rwanda boys home

Good luck JoBen!  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the kids you are impacting over there in Rwanda.

For any further information on Beyond Boundaries, check out

     For Soccer Shots OC, check out  or

     For Wellspring Academy in Rwanda, check out


Our Soccer Shots Team


“Get To Know Your Coach!” – Graeme

20 Jun

IMAG5124Here’s another installment of “Get To Know Your Coach” for all of you to enjoy.  Today we highlight Graeme Jennings!  He’s our English influence.  It’s often said that the British were the first to play and organize soccer.  So we figured, what better way to gain some credit with the soccer community than to have a Englishman on our coaching staff!  But, all jokes aside, Graeme has been an incredible addition to our Soccer Shots family.  Every school he is at adores him, all the parents can’t get enough of him, and the kids are always loving soccer class when he is around.  I don’t know if that’s because of the English accent, or because he such an amazing coach.  (Probably because he’s such an amazing coach, though 🙂 )  Here’s a quick story to show everyone how beloved he is.  Graeme is affectionately know by many of his schools as “Graham Cracker.”  That’s how the kids remember his name, he always says.  But we think it’s a pretty great nickname.  So, on the last day of our season at Grace Christian School Coach Graeme received a super thoughtful thank you gift.  It consisted of all the fixings to make S’mores, including chocolate bars, marshmallows, and of course graham crackers. So awesome!

So, Anyways, without further rambling, meet Graeme…

Graeme coaches at: Hicks Canyon CDC, King of Glory Preschool, Ricca Children’s Center, Children’s Village Preschool, Mesa Montessori Harbor Preschool and Kinder, Leport- Irvine Lake campus, Resurrection Lutheran Preschool, Grace Christian School, and our Saturday Park Program in Irvine at Westpark Elementary and Culverdale Elementary.

Where do you live?  Irvine, CA, after moving over from the East Coast last Summer.

Where were you born?  Nottingham, England, the proud home of Robin Hood!

How long have you been playing soccer?  Since the age of 4 (25 years). Its been a huge part of my life ever since then, having fun, making friends, being part of a team and it’s also what brought me to America working 9 years ago.

How long have you coached for Soccer Shots?  I’m still a newby of only 6 months.

What is your favorite position in soccer?  Right or left midfield, I like to be involved in the play working in defense and attack.

Who is your favorite pro soccer player?  Stuart Pearce, the guy gave his all for club and country and is now the manager of the England Under 21 team.  Playing now I would have to say David Beckham, the guy overcame National hatred after being sent off against Argentina to become England captain, part of the London 2012 Olympic bid and an ambassador for the sport of soccer all over the world.

What is your favorite pro soccer team?  Burnley, a very average team from the North of England. They enjoyed a brief season in the Premier League a few seasons back.

What is your favorite color?  Green, and obviously I am partial to the claret and blue colors of Burnley.

What is your favorite tv show?  Anything from Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds/CSI to most sports games/shows.

What is your favorite movie?  Recently a fan of the Hunger Games and eagerly waiting the 2nd movie later this year. Going back I like Shawshank Redemption and Memento.

What is your favorite thing about coaching with soccer shots?  Having fun building the relationship and rapport with the kids and seeing them learn and develop their skills.

What is your favorite soccer shots game, why?  I like the crazy warm up games as they set the tone and energy for the session.

Who is your most influential person, why?  My whole family has been a huge influence on me and who I am today. We are very close and although I am many miles away I know they are just a quick phone call/skype call away if I needed them for anything at all.

What is your favorite school subject?  PE (physical education) of course, playing and learning about sports at school – what can be bad about that?

So, there you are.  All Graeme’s secrets exposed in one quick blog post.  We love Graeme here at Soccer Shots and hope he never leaves us!  He’s a great coach, wonderful with the kids, and a pretty darn good soccer player too!
That’s it for today, but keep your eyes peeled for more coach profiles coming soon!
The Soccer Shots Team

Happy Kids! Hooray for Wristbands!

16 May

So it’s getting to be that time of the year again, when we have a lot of our seasons ending for the Spring.  And that means, awesome prize time!!!  For the Spring seasons, we are passing out Soccer Shots wristbands.  These are probably my favorite to give the kids.  They absolutely love them, and the best is when you give them the wristbands and tell them that they are used for wiping the sweat off their foreheads.  The kids get all excited and start imitating how we do it, taking their wrist and slowly wiping it across their foreheads.  It is so funny and awesome to watch!








Today, we had two classes finish at a montessori school.  The kids are super energetic in these classes, but they all love playing soccer.  They always have a blast, and coaching there is a bit draining, but so much fun as well.  We gave them the Soccer Shots wristbands today and they were so excited that I had to take a picture of them to document the pure jubilee.  This of course turned into a full scaled photo shoot.  But hey, at least the kids were loving it and I got some great new photos for the Soccer Shots Facebook page and Blog.








One of our favorite things about coaching at Soccer Shots is seeing the kids have fun, smile, and laugh.  Today I got enough of all three of those things to share with a whole stadium worth of people.  I will take that energy, excitement, and joy with me all day and into the weekend.  And for that, I say thank you to the kids, and thank you to whoever or whatever enabled me to be working this job… THANK YOU!

Lastly, this may be the time of year when a lot of Spring seasons are ending.  However, keep a look out for us during the summer.  We will be continuing during the summer months for the first time at a lot of our preschools and even at many of our elementary schools during the summer camps.  We also have our Saturday morning park programs available all summer in Irvine (at Westpark Elementary), Yorba Linda (at Messiah Lutheran Church), and a new location that is yet to be determined near downtown Disney in Anaheim.  So get ready for a great summer!



The Soccer Shots Team

Anyone need some shirts?

9 May




We had a orange soccer shirt bomb go off in the office yesterday!

Getting all the shirts ready to pass out to one of our big Catholic schools caused a bit of a mess in the office….maybe more than a bit.  But we got everything organized and all the shirts to all of our awesome kiddos.  And now our sea of orange is put away and organized on the shelf!  Woohoo!






Haha, and look!  We even found some misplaced Tampa Bay gear.  How the shipping lanes got crossed that bad, I have no idea.  So Tampa, if you want this super new/current looking shirt, it’s all yours!













So blessed to have the problem of so much stuff in the office, cause that means we have a bunch of kids in the program!  So awesome!


Until next time,

The Soccer Shots Team


The Fruits of the Labor!

6 May

Yesterday was the last day of the Spring season at Grace Christian Elementary.  We want to express our extreme gratitude to the school for allowing us to run such an awesome and big soccer class.  Also, a huge THANK YOU to all the parents and kids in the class!  We had 63 kids out there every Thursday afternoon.  63!!!  The kids loved it!  And that is obviously great and the kids having fun is one of our main focus in every class at every school, but…. our coaches (including me, cause I am a coach there also) were also having a blast every time!  Grace Christian was always a highlight for all 5 coaches that were there.  Anytime you get that many kids, no matter how fun it is, it is a lot of work as well.  With all that sweat, energy, emotion (and did I mention sweat?), it makes it all worth it at the end of the season when the kids are showing off all their soccer skills that they learned over the season and having a great time doing it!

And you know what?  It always feels good to get a little something from the kids as a token of their appreciation, also.  Coach Graeme is one of our coaches at Grace Christian.  Although Graeme isn’t the hardest name ever, the kids love making it even easier to remember by calling him “Coach Graham Cracker.”  So…. at the end of this season, “Coach Graham Cracker” received an amazing present from a super thoughtful kid and parent of graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and a card.  All the fixing for a good old fashioned s’more!  Heck yeah!


Graeme, oops I mean “Coach Graham Cracker”, loved it!  He was showing me and all of the other coaches on the field after class.  It meant a lot to Coach Graham Cracker, and on behalf of him, as well as all of the coaches at Grace Christian, we want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!  We loved being there.  The kids are great.  We cannot wait to be back again in the beginning of the Fall semester!  See you then!


The Soccer Shots Team

A Soccer Fun Fact!

24 Apr

Here’s a little mid-week soccer fun fact for you bloggers!

We all grew up with the traditional black and white checkered soccer ball.  It is in almost every picture, drawing, cartoon, and graphic of a soccer ball I have ever seen.  If you ever imagine a soccer ball, I would bet that you imagine the black and white soccer ball.  It is the classic look!

But…. have you ever stopped to think about how this classic look originated?  We did…soccer-ball1

Well, for all you curious ones out there, the black and white checkered soccer ball first originated in the 1970 World Cup.  World Cup officials in fact designed the black and white checkers to be more easily seen on black and white TV.  Prior to that World Cup, the popular soccer ball design was a solid color.  But, as usually happens, when all the professionals on TV were using the black and white soccer ball, everyone else wanted to use the same type of soccer ball.  Soon after, the black and white soccer ball became the norm, lasting for several decades, and even still to this day in certain respects.

Interesting stuff, huh?  We thought so.  Now, you can show off your super smart soccer knowledge to your coworkers, soccer friends, or kids.  I am sure they will be very very impressed.  🙂

Thanks for reading!  Have a great Wednesday!


The Soccer  Shots Team

“Get to Know Your Coach!” – Christina Craig

4 Apr

Another installment of our series, “Get to Know Your Coach” has brought us to Christina Craig.  She is an energetic, imaginative person and her personality shines right through in her coaching.  The kids love her!  Especially the little ones.  We often refer to Christina, in the office, as our “go-to” preschool coach because the schools and the kids love her so much wherever she is.  We’ve even had schools move around their schedule to fit Christina’s busy schedule.  And if you work in or with preschool and elementary schools, then you know how busy they are, so it is a true testament to how awesome Christina is that they would go to those lengths to keep her coaching at their school.  We hope she never gets too busy for us, and after getting to know her I’m sure you’ll feel the same way!

soccershots_headshot copy 2

Christina coaches at:  Coastal Learning Center Preschool, and Willow Lane Town and Country Preschool.

Where do you live? Garden Grove

Where were you born? Fountain Valley

How long have you been playing soccer? 8 years

How long have you coached for Soccer Shots? 1 year & 1/2

What is your favorite position in soccer? defense!

Who is your favorite pro soccer player? David Beckham

What is your favorite pro soccer team? Chelsea

What is your favorite color? blue

What is your favorite TV show? How I Met Your Mother

What is your favorite movie? The Fall

What is your favorite thing about coaching with soccer shots? Aside from feeling good about passing on the traditions of soccer to a new generation, there’s just something about hearing the kids call me Coach that makes me feel really good about doing what I do 🙂

What is your favorite soccer shots game, why? Superheroes – everyone wants to be a super hero for the day! The kids get soo incredibly passionate when they start talking about what super hero they are, and I have just as much fun being the ‘villain’ that hides the key under the ‘buildings’ for them to try and find using their soccer skills

Who is your most influential person, why? My mother. She traveled all the way from Vietnam to America at a young age with next to nothing and paved her own path to success from the ground up. She’s a single parent helping two kids through college, maintaining two jobs.. and still has time to volunteer, go to the gym and spend time with all the people she cares about. Truly, she is the biggest inspiration for me to pursue my passion, be charitable, humble and driven. 

What is your favorite school subject? Photography (it’s what I’m studying to get a certificate in) – but I am equally passionate about Literature. I love love loveee to read!

We love Christina here at Soccer Shots.  Our only wish is that she was available to coach more for us.  But, unfortunately, she is a busy lady, going full time to school, doing freelance photography, and still finding time to coach some awesome little munchkins for us!  If you have any photographic needs, check Christina out at!

Have a great day and go play some soccer!


The Soccer Shots Team

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