Our Book has reached Ireland!

Thank you Aisling Nig Ruairc and Joyce Lamb!


Hi Mia and Alison,

Below is a link to an interview Aisling did about her project Keep Your Girls Playing which she has been rolling out since September with the coaches, parents and 12-13 year old girls in our local GAA club:


There has been very positive feedback from the wider GAA community about her interview and she’s been happily recommending your book to any of the coaching educators that have been in contact. Hopefully you might get a few more book orders from Ireland!

Wishing you both a very Happy New Year.

Kind regards,

Joyce and Aisling

Cuala teenager showing how to keep girls playing Gaelic Games by John Harrington

And her ‘Keeping Girls Playing Project’ is having such a positive impact in Cuala that it will hopefully give other clubs some really helpful food for thought as to how best to keep girls involved in team sport.

“When I was researching this I came across a survey saying that one of two girls will drop out of team sport by the age of 13 and are three times more likely to give it up than boys are.

“It kind of shocked me at first because I know from my own personal experience of all the benefits that come from playing team sport.

“But when I thought about it made sense because my own team lost around half of our players by the time we were 13 and struggled to field a team at that age.

The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide is Out!

Alison Foley and I have a new book out, The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide, that helps parents and athletes navigate the college athletic recruitment landscape.

The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide

The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley

Did you know that 80% of parents put their kids in sports with the hopes they can attend college on an athletic scholarship? But, without knowing the facts and strategies behind attaining the elusive full-ride scholarship, only 7% of high school athletes move on to college sports.

For those looking to go to college on a sports scholarship, the recruiting process can be both daunting and overwhelming. The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide breaks down the process step-by-step to help parents and athletes navigate the system and find the right college fit. Inside the pages of this book, readers will discover the answers to essential questions, such as: how do I get recruited, what are coaches looking for, and when does recruitment start? The book also covers crucial topics including recruiting Do’s & Don’ts; ways to communicate with coaches, teams, and schools; how academics play into the recruiting process; how to build a recruitment kit; the role parents play,  and much more. This guide lays out all the advice needed to maneuver through the recruiting and scholarship process successfully – and with minimum stress.

The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider’s Guide

available May 18, 2020.

Order here.


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More books by Mia Wenjen:

Asian Pacific American Heroes Mia Wenjen

Alison Foley featured on Fox Sports

Alison Foley featured on Fox Sports

Young athletes barely out of elementary school committing to college teams

By: Jim Morelli

Soccer players about to enter middle school might suddenly find themselves the objects of surprising attention — from college coaches.

“In women’s soccer right now in Division One, there are 333 teams,” said Alison Foley, former coach of the Boston College women’s soccer team. “Everybody’s out there. All the college coaches are out there every weekend… recruiting.”

Foley, who coached the Eagles for more than 20 years, says new NCAA recruiting rules for Division 1 and 2 schools restricting back-and-forth communication between players and collegiate coaches until after 10th grade will probably curb some of the middle school recruiting. But she doesn’t see it going away.

“In general do I think it’s a good practice? I don’t,” Foley said. “I just think there are so many more things to think about that you don’t know to think about or consider such a big decision in 7th and 8th grade.”

But Foley, who now works with a Boston-area club soccer team, says recruiting young adolescents sometimes makes sense. She recently found an 8th grader who was a good fit for Boston College and that player verbally committed to that school.


Unfortunately, some verbal commitments made by young student-athletes come with a dangerous assumption, says Kim Penney, owner of One on One College Consulting of Wakefield, Massachusetts “It does not mean that the student-athlete is accepted to the school. It is actually just a handshake.”

Penney warns that if there’s a coaching change at the college or if the student’s grades aren’t good enough for the admissions office, that verbal commitment might not mean much in the end. “To have that sport… the ball so to speak… move that process.. in my opinion is the biggest mistake ever,” she said.

She suggests first finding a school that is an academic and social fit — so that if the sport part of it doesn’t work out, the student won’t be somewhere they don’t want to be.

And keep in mind, Penney said, once you announce a verbal commitment to a school — other coaches will usually respect that — which could prematurely cut off other options. “You are off the market… essentially,” Penney said.

That’s why Penney advises not committing to college until junior year of high school. And to maximize your athletic options — crack the books. “Do the very, very best you can academically,” she said. “The better you do academically the more offers you will have athletically.”


Along with good grades, one other thing is becoming increasingly important for athletic recruitment: playing on a club team. “I don’t remember the last time… it was probably 20 years ago that I got a player who only played high school and wasn’t involved in a club,” said Foley.

For some players, club teams are cost prohibitive. “You’re looking at, per season, usually around three thousand dollars,” Foley said. But that’s just the beginning of the expenses. Club team games often involve travel with sometimes overnight accommodations required. And then there are the tournaments.

“So there are normally three or four tournaments a year,” Foley said. “One may be local. The others might be in Florida, which is very common. Or California.”

Some parents feel the money is well spent. Often attending those tournaments, as well as events known as ‘showcases,’ are collegiate coaches looking for future talent.

Foley helped organize one such event earlier this month at Brandeis University. Some fifty college soccer coaches evaluated more than two hundred girls in grades 7-10.

Fifteen-year-old Grazzie Bhatia and her Mom, Michelle, came to the event all the way from Singapore.

“This is a great opportunity to meet some coaches and some other players and get a feel for what it might be to be a college player,” said Michelle Bhatia.

Tina Datta and daughter Sarah also traveled from Singapore. “This gives a wide opportunity for a multitude of coaches to take a look at your child, Datta said. “We’ve been talking to a number of Division 3 schools that have expressed a lot of interest in Sarah.”

Ryan O’Neill of West Bridgewater watched as his daughter Shea, an 8th grader, played a scrimmage with mostly older girls. “It could pay off,” he said — but added that it’s ultimately up to her. “If she wants to throw the towel in, call it a career at the high school level or advance to the collegiate level. You know it’s a big commitment.”

That’s the part about playing college sports some overlook, said Kim Penney, who played basketball at Tufts University, a Division 3 school. “If you can play a sport in college it’s wonderful,” she said. “You have an instant family… you have camaraderie… you have friends you go through a lot with.”

But, she adds, you also may have restrictions on your life if you’re playing on an athletic scholarship for a Division 1 or 2 school (Division 3 schools do not grant athletic scholarships). Certain majors are off limits because team travel will interfere with classes, she said. You might have to attend summer school for the same reason. And sleeping-in might not be an option if there are early morning practices.

One reason Penney chose to play at Tufts was because she wanted the option to study abroad — which would not have been possible playing for a Division 1 or 2 school.

She said always remember… you are in control of your destiny.

“Even if you’re great… you can play at the highest level… do you want that?” Penney said. “Sports is wonderful. But what else do you want? “

View the footage here.

Alison Foley featured on Fox Sports

To examine our print book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. Our ebook version with 3 bonus chapters is here.

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We Need To Change Our Current Youth Sports Culture TedTalk

Dr. Heather Bergeson, Pediatrician, Hockey Mom, and Sports Medicine Physician talks about the dangers of our current youth sports culture.

Our current youth sports culture is putting the emotional and physical health of our children in danger. How did we get here? Why does the culture persist? What can we do to transform youth sports into the positive, inspiring, character-building experience it can be? Heather Bergeson is a Sports Medicine Physician and Pediatrician at TRIA Orthopedic Center, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota, and Team Physician for the Gopher Women’s Hockey Team. As a Positive Coaching Alliance – Minnesota Chapter Board Member and an Edina Hockey mom to two kids who also enjoy playing multiple sports, she is passionate about the benefits of youth sports, but also concerned and alarmed by the current trends and culture of youth sports.


To examine our print book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. Our ebook version with 3 bonus chapters is here.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Coaches: Focus on What Went RIGHT!

Focus on What Went RIGHT instead of What Went WRONG!

NAYS.org has a great article on focusing on the positive:

Focus on What Went RIGHT instead of What Went WRONG!

Dr. Sheriece Sadberry, sports psychologist: “Instead of focusing on what went wrong during the game, parents should focus on all the things their young athlete did right and things that they can improve on.”

We agree! Ainslee Lamb, a contributing coach for HOW TO COACH GIRLS talks about asking the team what went right.

To examine our print book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. Our ebook version with 3 bonus chapters is here.

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To invest in girls, get them into sports

To invest in girls, get them into sports

The Vancouver Sun has an article that spoke to us:

Ravi Kahlon: To invest in girls, get them into sports

To invest in girls, get them into sports


“Research shows that although boys and girls have the same innate physical abilities and start out equally active, girls’ athletic skills start falling behind after the age of seven. This gap only increases with age.

Only eight percent of girls are getting enough physical activity, compared to 14 percent of boys.

If girls haven’t participated in sports by the time they are 10 years old, there is only a 10-per-cent chance they will do so later in life. Moreover, by the time girls turn 13, they start dropping out of sports and other regular physical activities at twice the rate of boys.

Besides building strength and endurance, physical activity improves thinking and learning, emotional regulation and self-control, stress management, self-esteem, self-worth, resilience, and the ability to cope with anxiety and depression. Kids who engage in regular physical activity are more socially connected, successful, and less likely to use drugs than their inactive peers.

Girls who don’t participate in regular sports activities don’t get these benefits — which can limit their ability to reach their full potential.

Lessons learned on the sports field — such as teamwork, goal-setting, time management — transfer well to the boardroom and other career pursuits. Women who stay involved in sports often thrive in all aspects of life.

The challenge is encouraging more girls to get involved in sports when they are young and stay active — particularly during the critical teen years.”


Ravi Kahlon, a two-time Olympian in field hockey, and was elected Delta North MLA in 2017. He is parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism.


How to Coach Girls is available through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Audrey Press.

If anyone wishes to buy books for their town team or club team, Audrey Press offers volume discounts.

Review by Carolyn Wilhelm:

Whether you are a parent or teacher coach, this book would be a welcome addition to your library as it has a wealth of information, wisdom, and experience that will enhance any coaching experience. If you wish someone could sit down with you and share what really works, doesn’t work, and why in coaching girls, read this book for such advice. The authors state that 70% of all kids quit organized sports by the age of 13, with girls quitting at six times the rate of boys? This is certainly true in my experience. Team sports help children develop friendships, learn cooperation skills, have increased fitness, and understand expectations. It is wonderful when coaches offer their time to help students develop in these ways.

Chapters include such topics as keeping it fun, promoting a growth mindset, and developing good people (not just good players). The focus is on the overall development of the person (girl) and not only athletic skill level. There are solutions to specific issues such as when coaching your own daughter and handling a losing streak. Body image is another important topic covered. There are specific “code of conduct” lists for players and parents. Having parents sign a contract is a proactive method of preventing specific issues that could arise. This book has it all!

To examine our print book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. Our ebook version with 3 bonus chapters is here.

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Soccer Girls Problems and How To Coach Girls

Thanks for hosting us Soccer Girl Problems!


Is it surprising that girls and women regularly underestimate their abilities and intelligence? It’s the opposite for boys and men who often overestimate theirs.

Katelyn Cooper, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, and her team asked 250 undergraduate biology students about their intelligence as compared to their peers.

“I would ask students about how their classes were going and I noticed a trend,” Cooper said. “Over and over again, women would tell me that they were afraid that other students thought that they were ‘stupid.’ I never heard this from the men in those same biology classes, so I wanted to study it.”

She found that men are 3.2 times more likely than women to believe they are smarter. On average, a man has a 61% chance of believing he is smarter than his colleagues, while a woman has only a 33% chance.

This confidence disparity by gender is not just true for biology students. Girls (and women) also underestimate their abilities across the board from academics to the workplace to sports. And, also notable, is that boys (and men) are the complete opposite, often believing that they are better than they actually are.

Read the rest here.

Continue reading “We’re in Soccer Girl Problems: GIRLS, CONFIDENCE AND GIVING FEEDBACK”