Dave Vicente is a busy man. Coaching one team at the ACAA level takes time and effort. Coaching two teams in the same season, in the same sport is quite a challenge. Still, Vicente enjoys it.
Coaching is in his blood. “I started coaching when I was 18. A friend of mine asked me to help him out when I could because I was playing on the 1989 Canada games team and I really enjoyed myself. I have been coaching for over 30 years from house league to rep teams, ACAA, AUS and NB Canada games teams.”
When asked why he enjoys coaching, Vicente said, “I love to share my passion for the sport and being around others that also love the beautiful game. I also realized that coaching would be a way to stay involved once I could not play anymore. The men and women's teams bring challenges and strengths for a coach. You must approach them in a totally different way. That is probably why I enjoy coaching both teams. It is the constant change and challenge they bring.”
There is no way one coach could coach two teams. Most teams have one or more assistants now. Vicente gets all the help he needs from former Seawolves – Bruce Savoie, an outstanding ACAA all-star keeper and PJ Ward, a terrific ACAA all-star defender. Vicente knows he is fortunate to have them as part of the coaching staff for both teams. “I have great assistants who allow me the opportunity to coach both teams because they either pass on my message in a pre-game talk or they coach for 15 minutes while I give the talk. It is also great to bounce ideas off them and get different perspectives on things.”
Switching from the women to the men and vice versa appears from the outside to be a difficult thing to manage. “This is probably the hardest part because most games are an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. I find that trying to stay even keel seems to work best. I was also a goalkeeper in my 40 years of playing and we have short memories. Keepers have to let things go and move on so that helps me do the same as a coach.”
The ACAA has much parity where at least five or six teams can make the playoffs so Vicente likes to focus on improvement from year to year. “My goal is make every student-athlete better as a person and as a player by helping them achieve their goals. Student-athletes come to us with varying levels of skills. With high-level athletes I focus on sharpening their skills; those who need development are trained on basics with progressions focusing on building their repertoire.
Vicente knows that he and his staff can only do what is in front of them. “We focus exclusively on what we can control and block out what we cannot. We want to create a fun, healthy learning environment where players want to play year in and year out.”
The Seawolves are fortunate to have such a dedicated and passionate coach!