Cliques On and Off the Field

How To Deal With Cliques

One issue for my middle daughter when she played club soccer was car pool. The problem was that she was the only person on her team from her town. There three other car pools based on location and then a few girls who also were the only ones from their town. It wasn’t that the girls from town car pools were inherently mean or exclusive or catty … but they came into practice as group who just car pooled together, and most played together for years on town teams together. They talked about people that go to their school that no one else knew. And, on the field, one group had a, most likely unconscious, tendency to pass to each other.

How To Deal With Cliques

How To Deal With Cliques

If you tell girls to form teams of four, they will naturally go into groups based on who they socially know. It might be a group of girls from the same town who car pool together. It might be from the same elementary school if it’s a town team. It might be by age group if it’s a mixed age team. My daughter’s town team is comprised of 7th graders and 8th graders and you can see the girls stand in groups by age. Continue reading “Cliques On and Off the Field”

What Are the Differences Coaching Girls versus Boys?

What Are the Differences Coaching Girls versus Boys?

As a mom of two girls and one boy, I would say that coaching boys versus girls is a continuum, and that this is not a hard and fast rule of differences for all boys and all girls. But I observe that the coaches of my girls who were most impactful took a Whole Child approach, with the social-emotional piece a significant one. Alison’s approach to this chapter is both her own experiences plus she polled many of her coach friends, both male and female, to get their take on what they think are the differences coaching girls versus boys. 

What Are the Differences Coaching Girls versus Boys?

What Are the Differences Coaching Girls versus Boys?

The University of North Carolina coach, Ansen Dorrance, gave me a really valuable piece of advice when I first started coaching. His advice was to give the girls on the team the first ten minutes of practice. Let them catch up with each other during this time, and then you will have their attention for the next eighty minutes of practice. If you don’t, they will try to get their ten minutes the entire practice, meaning they are distracted. Continue reading “What Are the Differences Coaching Girls versus Boys?”