Jeff Paulus Interview – Part 1 & 2

Hi Everyone! Jack here and today we are releasing Part 1 & 2 of our interview with the one and only Jeff Paulus.

I think Jeff is a fantastic coach. My Dad and I were so thrilled to get the chance to interview him! Lucky for us, it turned into an almost 2-hour conversation and I am so appreciative of all the time he spent with us and how much I learned from him.

Funny story, just before the interview started, as my dad was calling Jeff, I was so nervous! I kept reviewing and reviewing my questions over and over again and then all of a sudden he was there, I was thrilled!

Jeff Paulus and Andrew Murray

For me personally, I look up to Jeff Paulus for a lot of reasons; one – he's a stellar coach and a great human being, and two that he has spent so many years developing youth players so I thought that talking to him specifically about this would be so eye-opening, and lastly, I really wanted to chat with him because Jeff was a ballboy, just like me when he was about my age.

The Interview

During the 1st part of this 2 hour interview, there were so many interesting discussions. We asked Jeff about his love of soccer, his experiences playing the beautiful game, how he got into coaching, as well as things like:

  • The biggest obstacle he has had to overcome as a coach
  • The pressure to win
  • Being true to yourself despite outside influences
  • Statistics
  • Developing youth players
  • The 4 pillars of development in Canadian soccer and how they are taught separately (tactical, technical, psychosocial, physical) and what he learned from Dutch coaches
  • What do Canadian youth players need to focus on
  • Soccer IQ and what he looks for in youth players
  • The Island Games
  • And of course his amazing NEW podcast, “The Cynical Challenge” which you all need to check out here!

We also get into FC Edmonton and his long tenure with the club, and then a little later we get into his recent position with Edmonton Scottish. Jeff, Daddy, and I then talked about what is coming up next with Edmonton Scottish, some of it he still has to keep secret, but from what Jeff could tell us I'm extremely excited to see the future of Edmonton Scottish and it being a premier academy for young Canadian players.

A Thought-Provoking Interview

As we talked with Jeff Paulus, it was a very thought-provoking interview. Jeff's answers were incredibly honest and so helpful as he shared his thoughts and feelings about his career and the game.

Some of the things he mentioned I just soaked in like:

  • Nonverbal communication and the knowledge you have of your teammates
  • The importance of awareness on the field
  • Your style of play when you have the ball.
  • Style of play when you don’t have the ball, lose the ball
  • Are you in a good position to receive a pass?
  • Intent to play forward
  • Do you find the gaps?
  • How you take your first touch.
  • Does your level of self-discipline match your talent?

So get ready to watch part 1 of this amazing 2 part interview.

Jeff Paulus Interview Part 1 Timestamp

Please note: The interview timestamp is clickable if watched in YouTube.

0:00:00 Welcome
0:02:20 How did you fall in love with soccer?
0:03:34 When did you start working on your weak foot?
0:04:20 Strong foot discussion, being 2 footed.
0:05:00 Ball boy experience.
0:09:27 How did you get into coaching?
0:11:57 Military and the east coast.
0:12:43 The fans, picture with Jeff.
0:13:41 Supporters and the CPL.
0:15:02 Best place to play in the CPL.
0:16:25 Biggest challenge to overcome as a coach?
0:19:10 How did you overcome the stigma?
0:20:03 The pressure to win.
0:23:54 How difficult is it to bring in players?
0:26:23 In your opinion how important are statistics for you?
0:29:25 How do you train Soccer IQ?
0:33:30 Do you play futsal at the academy?
0:36:06 Most unique about your training at Edmonton Scottish?
0:38:00 What is one skill you look for in your U16, 1U8, U21?
0:40:51 What do you think youth players need to focus on tactically/technically?
0:42:15 Who does that really well?
0:44:24 When should a player get an agent?
0:46:06 What percentage of CPL players have agents?
0:47:06 Do you like to talk to the player first and the agent?
0:48:50 How deeply do you look into off-field activities/personality when signing a player?
0:50:41 CPL Under 21 rule discussion.
0:59:00 What would you have changed in the Island Games?

End of Part 1

Jeff Paulus Interview Part 2 – Timestamp

During the second part of the interview, we continue our discussion with Jeff on the Island Games, and get into his newest project – the podcast, The Cynical Challenge.” We finish off the interview with a “Rapid Fire” session where we get to know Jeff better.

0:00:00 Island Games discussion
0:05:29 What do you think the CPL can do to gain more fans?
0:07:33 You have a great deal of care for your players – real empathy – how do you balance that when you have to make tough decisions?
0:12:54 The Cynical Challenge, tell us about it?
0:18:24 Canadian Soccer / One Soccer
0:20:55 One thing you are more looking forward to the most on your podcast?
0:24:38 What do you think Canada is doing well and what could they do better?
0:27:55 Do you have any tips for kids on how to learn while watching soccer games?
0:27:43 Can you tell us about your time with the Canadian Soccer Association?
0:31:59 Rapid Fire Questions

End of Part 2.

I am so stoked for everyone to listen to this interview with ourselves and Jeff; it's a great and in-depth conversation about one of our great soccer coaches and the beautiful game in Canada! 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

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