Alison Foley, co-author of How To Coach Girls, is featured in the Boston Globe.
How young is too young to recruit kids for college teams?
As women’s soccer coach at Boston College, Alison Foley grappled with practices that had girls committing to teams while in middle school.
By the time Alison Foley entered her senior year at Plymouth-Carver High School in 1987, there was little doubt she was headed for big things in college soccer. Still, under NCAA rules, she waited until that fall to take her five official college visits and decide where to spend the next four years. She ultimately accepted an athletic scholarship to Keene State College, going on to earn All-America honors.
But as the head women’s soccer coach for Boston College for the last two decades, Foley saw the landscape change dramatically. On the books, the NCAA now required prospective recruits to wait until junior year to visit colleges. In reality, though, at most elite Division I women’s soccer programs, team rosters were all set by the time of those visits. College coaches had long ago buttoned up their recruiting class through an off-the-books “verbal commitment” process that made the official one look like something of a sham. [more here]
Thank you to Positive Coaching Alliance for featuring Alison on their blog!
ALISON FOLEY: Work Hard, Have Fun, and Remain Positive
- Why did you become a coach?
The college coach who recruited me, Dave Lombardo who had moved to JMU in Virginia, asked if I would come down and be his graduate assistant coach. I found out I loved coaching! I realized through the game that I loved to play, I could now coach and impact players both on and off the field.
Alison Foley chosen as Top 50 Influencers by New England Soccer Journal!
▪ Women’s head coach | Boston College
Foley’s imprint is all over soccer in New England, far beyond bringing Boston College’s women’s team to 14 NCAA berths. She’s the senior director of coaching for South Shore Select, runs the Lady Eagles Soccer School and serves on the Region 1 ODP staff. Beyond her soccer duties, Foley recently coauthored a book called “How to Coach Girls.”
Thank you to everyone who read about HOW TO COACH GIRLS! We trended at the #3 spot!
Soccer 360: Game Changer
We are thrilled to be in Soccer 360!n The article is titled “Game Changer”: Soccer360.
New England Soccer Journal: Podcast: Alison Foley, Boston College head coach, co-authors book on coaching girls
Alison Foley, who’s coached Boston College’s women’s soccer team for nearly two dozen years, recently co-authored a book titled “How To Coach Girls.”
The book is designed to help coaches, namely those in youth and teenage sports, navigate the space and keep girls in organized sports. It’s available for purchase here and at local book stores.
Foley also shared advice to prospective college soccer players, namely what she looks for on and off the field.
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.
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.”
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.
Boston College Head Coach Alison Foley
WBZ’s Laurie Kirby speaks with Alison Foley, head coach of the women’s soccer team at Boston College.
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.
Two major milestones in one year – it’s not something many college coaches in any sport can say they’ve accomplished. Plymouth native Alison Foley, the head coach of the Boston College women’s soccer team, joined an elite group when the Eagles beat Maryland, 2-1 in overtime, Sept. 22. She earned her 200th career coaching win. Four weeks later, when the Eagles beat one of the top teams in the nation – Wake Forest – Foley earned her 200th career win at Boston College.
“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.”
Come meet the winningest coach in Boston College Women’s Soccer History, Alison Foley and Popular Mommy Blogger & author Mia Wenjen as they sign copies of their new book “How to Coach Girls.”
Alison Foley on The Coaching Academy with Glenn Crooks on SiriusXM from March 7
Berkshire Soccer Academy Newsletter: How To Coach Girls
The cornerstones of this book are a recognition of the vast differences that exist between girls and boys, and the distinctive needs these differences create for girls. The authors contend that, in order for girls to realize their full potential, their specific needs must be specifically addressed in the way coaches develop their female players.
For example, boys are generally more confident and tend to inflate their abilities, whereas girls often doubt their own abilities; they are afraid to fail and let down their coach and teammates. Additionally, it is important for girls to be viewed as “whole persons,” not just as athletes. This means that coaches must focus on keeping it fun, building team chemistry and creating a safe and nurturing environment so the girls feel comfortable with the possibility of failure. Girls who trust their coach and feel a strong camaraderie with their teammates will work harder and progress faster.
Boston Globe: Dan Shaughnessy’s Boston Globe Sunday column
Highly recommended: “How To Coach Girls,’’ a new book co-authored by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley. Foley is a local mom and longtime head coach of the wildly successful women’s soccer team at Boston College.
(Excerpted from “How to Coach Girls,” by Alison Foley and Mia Wenjen, Audrey Press, 2018. The book, which focuses on the key elements to keep girls coming back next season, covering topics like Coaching Your Own Daughter to Pitfalls of Choosing Captains to Developing Team Chemistry, will be released March 1 and can be pre-ordered HERE.)
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.
many reminders and tips on how to create a fun environment for kids
that increases the chances of individual … A must-read for youth
soccer coaches. I’ve been coaching boys and girls for more than a
decade and researched the topic of coaching girls extensively. I know
that I’ll be referring back to this book for years to come for its
many reminders and tips on how to create a fun environment for kids
that increases the chances of individual and team success.”