Surf Nation is comprised of like-minded coaches and administrators dedicated to our Surf mission to provide the best experiences and opportunities for their athletes. Since 2013, Utah Surf has been a proud partner of Surf Nation, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the partnership, watching their amazing club grow and seeing them take full advantage of being under the Surf brand.

We sat down with Utah Surf’s Operations Director, Lisa Swenson, to learn more about how Surf has helped the club, players, coaches, and administrators and their upcoming season goals:

What is the biggest value for Utah Surf being part of the Surf Nation Community?

There are massive benefits to our affiliation with Surf Nation at all levels of our organization, from access to best-in-class tools such as Elite Soccer Clubs registration/event management software and premium access to The Coaching Manual coach education database to uniform contract negotiation.

The National Surf Select Program allows our players and coaches opportunities to compete in top national and international events, where they can make connections with players and coaches from around the world. The Surf Nation Community allows us to learn from and associate with coaches from diverse backgrounds through coach education opportunities in the exclusive Surf Nation Development Series.

As you start to reflect on 2023, what are some of the key highlights this year you would like to share?

2023 has been an exciting year at Utah Surf. We’ve had multiple teams compete and perform in high-level events. We’ve also shared in the excitement and success of our younger teams as they learn foundational concepts on the soccer field and in team environments. We had the privilege of watching one of our players who experienced a life-threatening – never walk again diagnosis recently re-enter training with her team this past month. This year, we were able to expand more into a neighboring metro area, creating teams of various age groups that are competing and thriving. We also formed a partnership with another neighboring club to offer additional pathways for our players.

The future looks bright as we continuously look for ways to strengthen our coaches, teams, players, and families!

As you start to plan for 2024, what are some of the Club’s KPI’s and goals you have set for the club?

LA Surf said it best – “We want to see continued growth in all areas of our organization.” We want to ensure that our players have every possible opportunity to grow and excel on the field and in their lives. We’ll continue to look for ways to partner or collaborate with coaches and teams to help our players reach their goals. We want to ensure that our coaches have the opportunities and access they need to advance their coaching portfolios – through continued focus on in-house coach education and other opportunities through Surf Nation. We want to maximize our efforts to add value to the players, coaches, and families in our organizations. We want to see more teams competing at the national level. We want to see more of our players playing at the next level.

Given the Club’s large geographical footprint in the state of Utah, how would you best describe your player development pathway from Grassroots through to your Elite program?

Collaboration is key. We have teams in 4 different metropolitan areas. We strive to help players who need more – whether it be higher-level competition, different types of coaching, increased competition, or just more soccer in general, to get what they need. Collaboration happens within age groups in their respective regions, as well as across regions and across age groups. In keeping with the Surf mission, we are primarily focused on providing the Best of the Best experiences and opportunities for our players.

The club oversees the Mountain Regional Select program; as you move into year 2, what are some of the lessons you have learned in creating additional experiences and opportunities for players wanting to be part of the select program?

This year, we tried to expand and increase visibility for the program in order to give more players the opportunity to participate. The Surf Select Program is a unique opportunity for players to experience a tryout process and be exposed to additional coaching from different coaches as well as different players. This provides players the opportunity to expand their skill set in adapting to various soccer environments. The program is invaluable for the players that are wanting these types of experiences and opportunities. Every player can benefit from the Surf Select program!


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