Sierra Niemann

Dear David,

It's been about 10 years since I walked through the door to Forza and at that moment, my development as a soccer player changed. It's really hard to write a testimonial after being a student of yours for 10 years. There is way too much to say. I remember my first day of training with you. And I was quite scared to be honest. You told me the important points of being a technical player and you drilled them into my head. You tested me as well.. You told me to look straight down at the ground and you would say "tell me when you can't see my feet anymore".  David, that was brilliant. You had taught me my first lesson, how to use my vision. At the time when I started training with you, I was playing Paysl for the speedy cheetahs & I was also the worst player on the team. I was small and not as fast or physical. I was behind the pack at my age. And many of my supporters worried about me developing... Especially my parents. So I started training with you more and more. My first session consisted of bouncing the tennis balls. I remember I would get VERY frustrated because I would see the senior players doing it so easily. But yet, I couldn't figure it out. You spent so much time working on that drill with me and I became better and better at that drill. In fact, I got so good at it that you would ask me to demonstrate every single time you had a session. I was your little monkey:-) you had also introduced me to Jessica Rightmer (your first student). She was just like me. Small, quick, technical and she had great vision. I immediately became so close to her. When I became older, she would come over to my house and train me almost every evening. She is my role model and forever will be. She taught me that dreams do come true. You also introduced me to 3 very important soccer players. Ruben, Issac & AB. Oh my goodness, they changed my whole perspective of the game. They would also train me every evening when they could. At the time, I remember I was afraid of heading or chesting the ball and my technique wasn't that great. They would work with me non stop on heading and chesting the ball out of the air. They would throw the ball so hard and I couldn't flinch. With practice and practice, I became less and less afraid of 50/50 balls in the air. Every day I went to camp, you would also introduce me to new drills that were strange to me, but helped me so much. We would stand on platforms and do volleys (balance). We would do boxes (speed and strength). We would just do simple technical cuts and turns.

David, I can't even explain to you how much you helped me become the soccer player I am today. Out of my whole soccer career so far at the age of 16 years old... 90% of what I know today on and off the field, I learned from you. The other 10% is from club soccer, Centex, core speed, U.S. National training centers, my father, IMG Academy, and of course college ID camps. So, I went from the worst player on my team as a 6 year old.. To one of the best and by far the most skillful. Every soccer player has a strength & a weakness. My strengths were my quickness, first touch, passing, and vision. My weaknesses were shooting, strength & size. You told me that my shot will come one day. And it has. My shot is here. I needed just to remember the simple things, like following through, locking my ankle, landing on my striking foot, and placement. It's all falling into place. And no, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows at Forza. You would get on to me every once and a while because I would act stupid or show weakness or I would make silly mistakes on the field. For example, I would lean against the wall when I'm tired. Immediately, my punishment was like 3683918227637272 crunches because I was showing I was weak and tired. To this day, I suck it up and I don't show I'm tired. There is no such thing as bending down and weasing for air, because pain is my friend. {David's quote}. Another time, I would play with the ball or have a side conversation while you were speaking and immediately my punishment was 73829282982 crunches (counting out loud). And guess what else, if I complained, you would add on more and then you would make the whole group do them with me. Yes, I was yelled at many times. You would tell me that in the future I wouldn't make it to the big level with that kind of disrespect. I learned my lesson after 10 other times;-) at the time, I couldn't ask for a better group to grow up and train with. The players older than me were the Rachel Lenz, Brooke, Jessica Rightmer, Satara, Roxy, AB, Isaac, Ruben, BB, Troy Larue, martín, Omar, etc. There are way too many to name. And then of course the Emily Stroupauher (started 1 year earlier than me), Marisa Ojeda (started the same time as me), Nicole cook (started one year after me) Brandon Mendoza (started the same time as me). This is my core group that I grew up training with. The rest fell in later on... like Ella Concannon, Christina Artiega, etc. I am proud to say that I am extremely blessed and proud of who I've become. And David, you are the main reason why.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. With out you, I wouldn't be committed to Texas State University or playing on the team in my club, or have gotten the chance to experience IMG Academy or have been exposed to professional players. You have done so much for me. You have given me all the tools I need to succeed in my soccer life, I just need to put them in motion. Thank you David. Forza is my second family. My second home. I have had some amazing memories, like going to Laredo twice with you to train with the boys, and of course the little 3v3 and 5v5 tournaments. And the team tournaments. IMG Cup, Pepsi cup & The Netherlands, were filled with amazing memories. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for teaching me lessons. Thank you for getting on to me, because it has made me who I am today. Thank you for the laughs and tears. You are the best. And of course the cooliest;-))

Love, your student since '05,

Sierra Niemann