World Cup: How Did Belgium Get So Good?

World Cup: How Did Belgium Get So Good?

The Training Ground reveals how Belgium got so good at soccer.

Coaching revolution that took Belgium to top of world

World Cup: How Did Belgium Get So Good?

WINNING DOESN’T MATTER

“We don’t have league tables until the Under-14 level. That was one of the big battles for us. Coaches shouldn’t be concerned about tables and trying to win trophies before this age – they should be thinking about developing players.

Coaches are inclined to focus on winning the game. That makes them play the big, strong players who give them the best chance of winning, so the late developers end up on the bench 75% of the time.

The second thing we did was play four quarters. At the end of the first and third quarters all the subs had to come off the bench. That was the only time the coach could make substitutions. Otherwise they don’t develop, because they’re on the bench watching the game instead of participating in it.

Remember that slogan again – love the game, then the learning can start.”

 

COLLEGE SOCCER: Alison Foley reaches milestone

Wicked Local: COLLEGE SOCCER: Alison Foley reaches milestone

Thank you to Wicked Local Plymouth for featuring Alison!

Wicked Local: COLLEGE SOCCER: Alison Foley reaches milestone Wicked Local Plymouth

Wicked Local: COLLEGE SOCCER: Alison Foley reaches milestone

Two major milestones in one year – it’s not something many college coaches in any sport can say they’ve accomplished. Plymouth native Alison Foley, the head coach of the Boston College women’s soccer team, joined an elite group when the Eagles beat Maryland, 2-1 in overtime, Sept. 22. She earned her 200th career coaching win. Four weeks later, when the Eagles beat one of the top teams in the nation – Wake Forest – Foley earned her 200th career win at Boston College. Continue reading “COLLEGE SOCCER: Alison Foley reaches milestone”

New England Soccer Journal Podcast: Alison Foley, Boston College head coach, co-authors book on coaching girls

Alison Foley How To Coach Girls

Alison Foley, who’s coached Boston College’s women’s soccer team for nearly two dozen years, recently co-authored a book titled “How To Coach Girls.”

New England Soccer Journal:  Podcast: Alison Foley, Boston College head coach, co-authors book on coaching girls

The book is designed to help coaches, namely those in youth and teenage sports, navigate the space and keep girls in organized sports. It’s available for purchase here and at local book stores.

Foley also shared advice to prospective college soccer players, namely what she looks for on and off the field. Continue reading “New England Soccer Journal Podcast: Alison Foley, Boston College head coach, co-authors book on coaching girls”

Plymouth’s Alison Foley puts coaching philosophies into ‘How to Coach Girls’ 

Plymouth’s Alison Foley puts coaching philosophies into ‘How to Coach Girls’

We are in Wicked Local Plymouth!

Plymouth’s Alison Foley puts coaching philosophies into ‘How to Coach Girls’

PLYMOUTH – Alison Foley has definitely accumulated enough knowledge to fill a book in her more than 20 years of coaching women’s college soccer. So that’s exactly what the Plymouth native decided to do. The Boston College women’s soccer head coach recently collaborated with her friend, professional blogger Mia Wenjen, on a new book called “How to Coach Girls.”

“I really enjoyed the process of putting this book together. It was almost therapeutic looking back at things that I’ve experienced as a coach, and it helped remind me of why I got into coaching in the first place,” Foley said. “It reminded me of how key a role positive reinforcement plays in successful coaching.”

Foley’s coaching methods have served her well since she first took over her own soccer program in the mid-’90s. After starring as a player at Plymouth-Carver and then Keene State, she took a position as a graduate assistant coach at James Madison University in Virginia. Foley then went on to take over the program at Angelo State University in Texas in 1996 for one year before coming to Boston College, where she is in her 21st season leading the program.

The 47-year-old Newton resident has won more games than anyone else in B.C. women’s soccer program history with a career record of 266-140-38. Her teams have made 14 NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2010 College Cup Final Four in 2010. Foley is also the senior director of coaching for the South Shore Select club soccer program.

To nobody’s surprise, it was soccer that brought the Newton residents together in the first place.

“Our daughters are good friends and they’ve played on the same soccer teams over the years. Mia and I got to talking about coaching a lot at their games and we eventually came to the realization that maybe we could combine our talents and write a book on the subject that could help coaches and parents,” Foley explained.

So Foley and Wenjen, a professional blogger at PragmaticMom.com, started the writing process. Every other Thursday for five months they’d get together and work on the book, and last month the finished product was published by Audrey Press for the world to read.

Foley and Wenjen wrote the book for coaches of all sports and levels and for parents who hope to have a positive effect on their daughters’ teams. Foley detailed three key ways coaches can start to lay down a path to a successful team.

Step one is scheduling a pre-season meeting that includes the players as well as parents.

“We set certain expectations for players, and there should also be a code of conduct for parents at the games about what you want to see from them on the sidelines,” Foley said. “That pre-season communication is huge because it gets everyone on the same page right away.”

Step two involves forming the chemistry of the team. “Make sure that everyone treats all of their teammates with the same respect,” Foley said. “Togetherness is what builds a real team. Move kids around and have them work with different teammates to get rid of cliques and promote teamwork.”

And suggestion number three? Have fun.

“Girls drop out of sports at a much higher rate than boys do, so you need to find ways to keep girls involved and invested. A great way to do that is to keep an element of fun with things,” Foley said. “Celebrate birthdays and do other team-bonding events. Find ways to build bonds that keep the group growing into a real team.”

Foley and Wenjen will have a book signing for “How to Coach Girls” from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 12 at the South Shore Sports Center in Hingham.

Foley and Wenjen will have a book signing for “How to Coach Girls” from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 12 at the South Shore Sports Center in Hingham. Continue reading “Plymouth’s Alison Foley puts coaching philosophies into ‘How to Coach Girls’ “

Women in Sports Today: Female Coaches Are The Final Frontier

The turning point for women in sports was Title IX, a federal civil rights law in the U.S., passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Before Title IX, one in 27 girls played sports. Today that number is two in five.*

Similarly, there were almost no college athletic scholarships for women 40 years ago. Now, almost 200,000 women play college sports, and many of those athletes get scholarships. But there is still significant work to be done. The playing field is still not equal despite Title IX.

Representative Patsy Mink of Hawaii, Title IX co-author, for whom the law was renamed in 2002.

Girls (and boys) of color still lack access sports.** This is an issue of poverty that also affects children who are not of color. The rise of club sports monetizes youth development in sports, shutting out those who can’t pay to play. And, the path to playing sports in college is often determined by the ability of parents to pay for development. Continue reading “Women in Sports Today: Female Coaches Are The Final Frontier”

Free Downloadable Forms for Coaches

Parent Code of Conduct Downloadable Form

Here are free, downloadable and printable forms for coaches based on various chapters in HOW TO COACH GIRLS:

free award certificates for sports teams

Samples of part of each form:

Parent Code of Conduct Downloadable FormChampions Creed PrintablePlayer Code of Conduct Downloadable FormFree Downloadable Emergency Medical Kit Check Off FormHow to Coach Girls Pre Season Logistics Check Off Downloadable FormPlayer Evaluation Downloadable Form

We are in Soccer America!

Soccer America: Coaching Girls: How to deliver feedback effectively

COMMENTARY

Coaching Girls: How to deliver feedback effectively

by  ,  ,Feb 28, 2018

Mia: My daughter’s club volleyball coach is amazing; he thanks players for running for an out of bounds ball that they have no hope of getting. They would walk through fire for him. I asked him when we headed over to the team dinner one night if he had always coached this way. He told me that he used to be the kind of coach who was the hardest on the most promising player, but he learned that you can’t coach girls in that way.

Continue reading “We are in Soccer America!”

Video that BC Soccer Recruits Receive…

This Is Boston College Women’s Soccer

Boston College Women’s Soccer. This is the video that is sent to Boston College’s Women’s Soccer committed recruits to give them a little insight into what makes BC soccer unique. It’s what being a girl on a team is all about… family, friendships, pride loyalty and trust.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here. Continue reading “Video that BC Soccer Recruits Receive…”