Alison Foley Featured in Keene State The Equinox: Soccer to Co-Author


Equinox: Soccer to Co-Author

Foley said she chose to write the book because, after looking at high school statistics relating to sports, she found it disturbing how many middle school girls were dropping out of teams and choosing not to play sports anymore.

Foley said she believes positivity is key. Foley hopes that each coach who reads the book will be able to find tips that will help create a positive team environment, solve some of the common issues that often develop on women’s teams, and eventually help each coach navigate through the adversities.

Foley’s advice and tips come from long-term experience and struggles that she has faced and overcome in her career.

Foley’s former roommate Janel Gerrior, who now goes by the name of Janel Stevenson, said that she wasn’t surprised to hear that Foley was writing a coaching book.

“She has been an inspiration to all female athletes for as long as I have known her. It is important she share her expertise with the world,” Stevenson said.


Continue reading “Alison Foley Featured in Keene State The Equinox: Soccer to Co-Author”

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, 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”

We’re in the Newton Tab!

Newton Tab: Boston College soccer coach Alison Foley co-authors book on coaching girls

Boston College soccer coach Alison Foley co-authors book on coaching girls via Newton Tab

“As the mother of a daughter growing up with the sport, she had a chance to watch how the dynamics of the sport of soccer – and other sports – influenced her daughter’s interest and passion for sports both positively and negatively.

The result of some of her thoughts and research on the subject are included in the new book “How to Coach Girls” – which she co-authors with friend and fellow Newtonite Mia Wenjen.” Continue reading “We’re in the Newton Tab!”

The Conscious Kid reviews HOW TO COACH GIRLS

Thank you to The Conscious Kid for reviewing HOW TO COACH GIRLS:

The Conscious Kid reviews HOW TO COACH GIRLS

theconsciouskid Fearless social justice advocate, and founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia Wenjen, teamed up with Boston College’s Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, Alison Foley, to write a book called @howtocoachgirls. This guide book helps coaches create successful teams that motivate girls to stay in sports beyond their middle school years. .
Coaches have a significant ability to impact a girls’s life. Mia and Alison impart practical tips coaches can use to support each girl on a team in wanting to return the next season. They also leverage the ability of sports to teach important life skills, and share strategies on how to build self-advocacy, leadership and confidence. One of my favorite chapters was on Body Image & Sports, and how a coach’s language about things like body size and food can do a lot of damage.
In addition, 15 professional coaches from a range of sports, including former Olympian athletes, give their advice on what girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun. The book was published yesterday so is available now! Check out @howtocoachgirlsand @pragmaticmom for more information.

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

We’re in UCLA One Spotlight!


UCLA ONE Spotlight Mia Wenjen How To Coach Girls

Mia Wenjen, M.B.A. ’93

Co-Founder, Aquent

“I learned that I was not alone in having girls who were contemplating quitting their sport. About 70% of all kids quit organized sports by the age of 13, with girls quitting at six times the rate of boys! And, given the vital role that sports play in nurturing girls’ positive body image, self-esteem and confidence – Alison Foley and I set out to create a guide book to teach others. How to Coach Girls launches on March 1.”

Continue reading “We’re in UCLA One Spotlight!”

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


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!”

We are in Coach & A.D.!

Coach & A.D. How To Coach Girls

‘How to Coach Girls:’ Developing team chemistry

The following is an excerpt from “How to Coach Girls,” written by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley. Foley is the head women’s soccer coach at Boston College, where she has led her teams to the postseason during 13 consecutive seasons. Wenjen is an entrepreneur and blogger at

Developing team chemistry

MiaMy oldest daughter played volleyball, and her team would huddle after every point, win or lose. It looked like a very positive thing, girls huddled up, hugging each other. Sometimes it wasn’t though. A player in the huddle might assign blame for a lost point, demoralizing the group. Since the coach is not part of the team huddle, the team culture would reveal itself in these moments, good or bad. While the coach can’t control what happens in the huddle, it’s an extension of the team culture created during practices. It’s a little like baking bread; you need all the right ingredients at the right temperature. If you do all the right things and create the right environment, the bread rises on its own. Continue reading “We are in Coach & A.D.!”