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!”
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.
“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.”
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.
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 PragmaticMom.com.
Developing team chemistry
Mia: My 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.!”
Mia:An issue for my middle daughter when she played club soccer was carpools. The problem was that she was the only person on her team from her town. There were three other carpools based on location and then a few girls who were also the only ones from their town. It wasn’t that the girls from town carpools were inherently mean or exclusive or catty … but they came into practice as group who carpooled together, and most had played together for years on town teams together. They talked about people who went to their school who no one else knew. And, on the field, one group had a — most likely unconscious — tendency to pass to each other.