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…”

Ainslee Lamb on Coaching Her Daughter

On coaching her daughter Brooklyn:

Thank you so much Ainslee Lamb for your support of  HOW TO COACH GIRLS:

It is refreshing to read HOW TO COACH GIRLS that recognizes and embraces the unique aspect of coaching female athletes. A guide for coaches of all sports to facilitate the incredible responsibility and privilege we have to work with the future female leaders through the wonderful gift of sport.

To finally articulate the sentiments of many successful female sports team coaches, and identify the techniques and approaches that will contribute to the potential success of the girls both on and off the fields.

To demonstrate to all of us that adjusting our approach, focus or style of communication is no longer a compromise but the sign of a great coach that only wants to catapult these girls to be confident, capable and proud young women today! HOW TO COACH GIRLS gives us tangible ideas, practice plans and thought provoking chapters to help us do exactly that!

Continue reading “Ainslee Lamb on Coaching Her Daughter”

How To Coach Girls at South Shore Select #LikeAGirl

Alison Foley running practice at South Shore Select club soccer. Our thanks to Zoe Lee for creating this video.

Thank you also to Liz Lima for her support of How To Coach Girls:

The lessons learned from sports can help shape a girl for the rest of her life.  HOW TO COACH GIRLS teaches you about the very real and positive impact that sports can have on young girls and best practices to help empower the next generation of strong and confident females.   #likeagirl

Liz Lima

Director of AP Programs at club soccer team South Shore Select

Continue reading “How To Coach Girls at South Shore Select #LikeAGirl”

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila – Volleyball

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila, Volleyball Coach

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila has coached volleyball for close to thirty years starting when he was eighteen years old. He coached high school volleyball for both boys and girls including Newton South, Wellesley, Sacred Heart, and Weston High Schools. He was the assistant coach for Harvard University as well. He currently also coaches at the club level for Smash Volleyball, as well as at his own club, MGA. For the U.S.A. Women’s National Volleyball Team, Fabe was a coach for the setters who competed at the Rio Olympics under Coach Karch Kiraly. He is currently working U.S.A. Volleyball with high performance athletes who train for future Olympics, including the national teams. Last, but certainly not least, he coached his three daughters who all play at a high level.

  Fabian (Fabe) Ardila, Volleyball Coach

On Coaching Your Own Daughters

I think listening is a key component when coaching your own daughters. We don’t do a good job at listening both on the parent side, and as their parent/coach. We don’t really listen and understand when our kids tell us what is going on and what difficulties they are having. We just assume that they should be doing things a certain way. If we listened a little better, and had better communication between the player (who is your son or daughter), and the coach, I think that would go a long way. It’s interesting because I’ve coached all three of my daughters, and each one had a different personality. But I believe the success that we had with each one of them had to do with talking in a way that each one understood what I was trying to get out of them, and pushing them just enough so that I wasn’t alienating them from me being a dad, or from our team and the things we wanted to do as a team.

For more advice from Fabe including how he gets his players to love the game, please read How To Coach Girls coming out March of 2018.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here.

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls


Kelly Doton: Women’s Field Hockey

Kelly Doton

Kelly Doton
Boston College

Head Coach Women’s Field Hockey

Doton became head coach of the Boston College field hockey program in 2015. She started as associate head coach at Boston College in 2012, and previously coached at Indiana University.

In Doton’s four seasons, Boston College has posted double-digit wins each year and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons (2013-2015).

A 2004 graduate of Wake Forest, Doton was an asset to the Demon Deacons on both sides of the ball during her collegiate career, helping to lead her squad to back-to-back NCAA championships. 

In addition to being named the ACC Player of the Year in 2002, she was also a two-time NFHCA First-Team All-American and a three-time All-ACC honoree during her career.

In addition to her collegiate playing experience, Doton was a member of the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team from 2005-10. In 2008, she was part of the U.S. squad that traveled to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Kelly Doton 

What is your best piece of advice to a girls youth coach? 

Honesty is the best coaching approach. Criticism is never easy to hear and some young female coaches have a tendency to sugar coat coaching when it comes to things players can improve on. I hear a lot of youth coaches who acknowledge and congratulate athletes for things that shouldn’t be commended. In my opinion, that is validating bad play as acceptable. It’s the blue-ribbon society we live in where kids are getting a trophy just for playing. Be fair, be honest, and be open to the players. Treat your number 1 player on your depth chart just the same as the one sitting in last place.

 

For Kelly Doton’s team building exercise for selecting team captains, please read How to Coach Girls coming out March of 2018.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here.

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls

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Sarah Dacey – Soccer

Sarah Dacey Soccer

Sarah Dacey

Women’s Soccer Head Coach

Barry University

Sarah Dacey joined Barry University as Head Coach in 2016 after spending the previous season as an Assistant Coach under Denise Brolly. Previously, Dacey was the head coach at Babson College, as well as club head with the FC Bolts and Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club. She served as an assistant coach at the University of Albany, Boston College, Providence College, and the University of Tennessee. As an assistant at Boston College, she helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 Women’s College Cup.

Dacey played professionally for the WUSA’s Carolina Courage and Boston Breakers until 2003, when she took over as head girls’ soccer coach at the Fay School in Southborough, Mass.

A four-year letterwinner and three-year starter under legendary coach Anson Dorrance at UNC, Dacey helped lead the Tar Heels’ soccer program to three National Championships while earning Honorable Mention All-American honors in 1996. The Tar Heels went an amazing 98-3-1 during her career. She was also a three-year member and two-time All-American selection in women’s lacrosse, leading the Tar Heels all the way to the Final Four on two occasions.

Sarah Dacey Soccer

Best advice To a New Coach

I would say don’t under estimate how competitive girls can be and how much they want to learn. I found that the more competitive I would make practice, the more enjoyable and the more intense and invested the players would be. Girls love to compete. Communication is also very important. Girls are people pleasers by nature so they want to feel like they are doing right by their coaches and they want to work hard. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are essential. At the end of the day, the players want to have “fun” but as coaches it is our responsibility to still teach the game the right way. There is no reason why coaches can’t make sessions enjoyable where the players are learning at the same time. Finding that balance is key.

For Sarah Dacey’s team building game called “Zimbabwe,” please read How To Coach Girls coming out March 2018.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here.

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls


Mary-Frances Monroe – Soccer

Mary-Frances Monroe Soccer

Mary-Frances Monroe

Women’s Soccer Head Coach

University of Miami

Mary-Frances Monroe has been the head soccer coach at University of Miami since 2016, after seven years as the head coach of the University of Albany. A well-respected player and instructor, Monroe competed on the field with the Boston Breakers of the WPSL Elite League as recently as the 2012 season.

Charged with building the Great Danes program from the ground up, Monroe and her coaching staff won 2009 America East Co-Coaching Staff of the Year honors in just her fourth year at the helm. During that season, the Great Danes earned the first Division I postseason berth in program history.

Just one year later in 2010, the Great Danes finished with a 10-8-2 record under Monroe’s direction – the first winning season for the program since 1988.

A four-year college All-American at the University of Connecticut and UCLA, Monroe was a candidate for the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the best female college soccer player in the country. As a freshman with the Huskies, the Northport, N.Y., native set the program’s single-season record with 65 points. Monroe was rewarded for her spectacular debut with BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors and first-team all-conference recognition.

Monroe also achieved success on the international level as a player, earning several caps with the United States Women’s National Team.

Mary-Frances Monroe Soccer

 

What is your best piece of advice to a girls youth coach?

Be honest and communicate. Communication is so important at all levels. It is so important to be positive when a player does something well.

Understand your players. Some players may need more positive reinforcement than others. Sometimes those players may even need you to say “great pass” even if it was a 15 yard pass completed under pressure. Make sure you understand that isn’t praising a player for making a mistake. This is helping a player build confidence.

There are also times that you need to be hard/demanding on a player. They want to know what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. Just yelling at a player telling them what they already know doesn’t help a player develop. These kids are human and will make mistakes, but they need to understand that at the next level making continuous mistakes may cause them limited playing time.

I tell my players I am their biggest fan but I am hard and I am demanding. I want to help develop them into the best player that they can be and help them follow their goals and dreams and the goals of the team.

Another piece of advice is to hold them accountable. You may have a super star that thinks they can get away with anything because they are “good” and/or the “best player on the team”. I have coached players that are the best on the team but their body language is poor when they make a mistake. I pull them over and explain to them they need to set a better example for the team. How do you think your teammates will feel if I let you get away with your poor body language. Think about someone who doesn’t play a lot and I continue to play you even though you don’t follow our rule of having good body language. This has been a great lesson for players like that. For this particular player, I understood as a coach she was just upset with herself but her team make not see it that way.

For Mary-Frances Monroe’s team building exercise, please read How To Coach Girls coming out March of 2018.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here.

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls


Amanda Cromwell – Soccer

Amanda Cromwell - Soccer

Amanda Cromwell

Head Soccer Coach Women’s Soccer

UCLA

Amanda Cromwell - Soccer

Amanda Cromwell is the head coach of UCLA’s women’s soccer where she led her team after taking the reins for just eight months to the program’s first-ever NCAA Championship. Previously, she was head coach for 14 years at the University of Central Florida. She was also head coach at University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1996-97 and an assistant coach at the University of Virginia.

Cromwell attended the University of Virginia and was the captain of the 1991 Cavaliers team that advanced to the Final Four. She was a two-time All-America selection, a finalist for the 1991 Hermann Trophy and a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree.

In addition to coaching, she served as a member of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee and U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, and was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is also a member of the coaching staff that the State Department sends as an envoy to other countries to empower girls and women through soccer.

 

I would say to empower young girls they need to let them know it’s OK to be the best and to strive to be the best.  I think sometimes young girls don’t want to stand out from the crowd and the coaches need to give them the confidence to do so.

p.s. To learn more about How To Coach Girls, check out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It’s available for purchase here.

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls


Ainslee Lamb – Field Hockey

Ainslee Lamb

Natick Middle School Coach

National Team Coach for USA Women’s Field Hockey

Field Hockey

Ainslee Lamb was head coach of the Yale University field hockey team from 1999 to 2003. In 2005, she became head coach of Boston College, where she coached for 10 years. Under her lead, the Eagles recorded a winning record and have received many accolades. At the end of the 2014–15 season, Lamb resigned her position as head coach. She is currently coaching Natick Middle School girls field hockey as well as coaching various national teams for the USA Field Hockey program including U17, U19 and U21. 

A 1994 graduate of the University of Toronto, Lamb was a three-year field hockey letter winner, helped lead the team to a national championship in 1988 and earned All-Canadian honors three times. 

Prior to college, Lamb was a member of both the 1990 World Cup team and Canadian National team from 1987-92, where she competed in the Junior World Cup, the Olympic qualifying tournament and two Four Nation Tournaments.

What She Gains Coaching Youth Girls

Amazingly enough, my proudest accomplishment is coaching middle school girls U14 field hockey. That’s been incredibly rewarding for me, but I do a feel an increased responsibility coaching those young women versus the national team level. When I reflect on the last two years, I think about those coaching opportunities with Natick middle school girls who have touched field hockey for the very first time. Relative to twenty years of collegiate coaching, I think that the culmination of my coaching experience came to the forefront with this young age group.

Young girls playing sport can teach us so much. The best example is “will to prepare” and “desire to win” are key intangibles that I want to instill in young athletes but at the same time, they teach us true perspective. It’s a real tribute to them that they have the ability to be very focused with their sport but also can also compartmentalize – certainly much better than elite coaches can. That’s what I’ve learned from them.

Why Coaches Should Ask, “What Are You Doing Well?”

One of the first questions that I ask all the teams and individual athletes I work with are: “What are we doing well?” I don’t know if I ever asked the athletes that I worked with at Yale or Boston College this question. The emphasis was on what do we need to work on, what do we have to fix, why are we not winning the game right now. More the doubting questions versus instilling these athletes focus on what they are doing well. Feeding them with what they are doing well ironically takes care of the things that are not happening on the field because they go back with such confidence on what they are doing well and they focus on those strengths instead of things that not allowing them to win the game.

I love that now. It’s the first question that I ask. My rule with my daughter is that she has to tell me three things she does well before I will have a conversation about things that we can do better. I think it’s really important that they feel confident about what they are doing, but girls need to learn to say things that they do well. Ironically, we sometimes are so critical and always expecting more of ourselves that even in individual meetings with the Boston College athletes and you ask the girls what are your strengths. They would answer, “I can’t really think of one.” And yet these young women are some of the best players in the country. I really like to instill in young women don’t be afraid to say something you are good at. The getting better and improvement conversations are then easier to have.

For more of Ainslee Lamb’s advice on coaching her daughter, advice to first time coaches, and retaining girls in sports, please read How to Coach Girls coming out March of 2018.