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Our Vision

In 2023, Gary Cooke established Defending Third, driven by a singular ambition: enhancing soccer players, especially goalkeepers, in Cleveland, TN. As a local club soccer coach, lifelong designer, and mindset coach, Cooke's vision transcends mere skill improvement. He emphasizes the holistic development of players, focusing on the four essential pillars of the game: technical, tactical, physical, and mental.

"For us," Cooke asserts, "the essence of the game lies in fostering not just better soccer moves, but in cultivating body awareness, positioning, and movement that translate into enhanced athletic performance." At Defending Third, the emphasis is on creating enjoyable soccer experiences facilitated by compassionate, seasoned, and growth-oriented mentors.

Defending Third offers a comprehensive approach to player development, integrating Technical Soccer Skills and Mindset Coaching seamlessly. This amalgamation provides players, especially goalkeepers, with an ideal environment to maximize their potential. By bringing world-class tools and methodologies to the local level, Defending Third ensures that players of all ages in Cleveland, TN, have access to top-tier resources.

The mission of Defending Third is clear: to elevate soccer players' skills, confidence, and physical prowess through personalized training, leveraging technology and individualized data monitoring. This commitment underscores the dedication to nurturing not just better soccer players, but also better individuals within the Cleveland, TN soccer community.