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Taking on a New Role for Our Soccer Community

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 in Community 0 Comments

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After earning the NSCAA Premier Diploma in January 2012, Dr. Melissa (Missy) Price joined the NSCAA Coaching Academy Staff. Encouraged by Women’s Committee Chair Lisa Cole, Missy organized and hosted an NSCAA course – Goalkeeping Level I & II Diplomas – at the end of February.  Here, she shares some of her story as well as her experience bringing an NSCAA course to her community:

Beyond coaching players, I’m passionate about coaching education. Charlotte Moran first instilled in me the importance of the process of learning to be a coach: When I was an Olympic Development Program (ODP) player in Eastern Pennsylvania 1994, Charlotte told me I was taking the USSF ‘D’ course that was coming up in a few weeks because she wanted me to start coaching Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association’s summer camps. Those of you who knew Charlotte know that you didn’t tell Charlotte “no.”

Thus began my life-long learning about coaching through coaching education. Today, after several licensing courses later and a Ph.D. in sport psychology with an emphasis in coaching behaviors and leadership, I still seek opportunities to further develop my skill set.

As coaches, we constantly ask our players to step outside their comfort zone and try new things. However, we don’t always ask the same of ourselves. I believe that as coaches and coach educators, we should strive to model these expectations:

We shouldn’t coach a certain way because that is how it has always been done or ignore our planning and fall into a rut of overly repetitive training sessions that limit player development. Coaching has been called a science and an art; therefore, we must be willing to be experimenters and creative masterminds

The question remains, what are you doing to advance the science and art of your coaching?

I believe in coaching education and the role it plays in the development of soccer in our country. This belief led me to recently complete the NSCAA Premier Diploma, which was a fantastic learning experience fueled by an excellent staff and motivating colleagues. The Premier Diploma challenged me to step back and evaluate my coaching style, behaviors, philosophy, methods and management. Months later, I’m still incorporating concepts, philosophies and language I learned at the course. The experience broadened my coaching horizons and it’s made me better.  

One of my long-term goals has always been to join the NSCAA Coaching Academy Staff. I’m proud to say that I have now accepted that opportunity. Following the Premier Diploma this past January, I was motivated to bring a NSCAA course my community. On February 24-26th, Lisa Cole and I taught the Goalkeeping Level I and II Diplomas in Reno, Nevada. We had more than 35 Level I and 20 Level II candidates. The NSCAA Coaching Education Department was helpful throughout the process and the course was a huge success from coordinating the details to the actual instruction and sessions.  I have already begun to talk with clubs and coaches in our state to determine future courses that will most benefit them and our soccer community.

As I look to the coming year with excitement about this new role as a NSCAA Coaching Academy Staff member, I encourage you to get involved: as participant, site coordinator, educator, or all of the above.

On the NSCAA website, they list three simple steps to hosting a course and they really are pretty simple:

1) contact the NSCAA,
2) secure a location, and
3) promote your course.

What are you waiting for? Find out more information and get to work today!

Dr. Melissa (Missy) Price is currently the head coach at the University of Nevada after two years on staff as an assistant. Prior to joining the staff at Nevada, Missy serviced as an assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois, and the University of Miami.

In May 2010, Missy graduated with a Ph.D. in sport psychology from the University of Virginia. She is a member of several professional organizations including the NSCAA, the United States Soccer Coaches Association, the Association for the Advanced Placement of Applied Sport Psychology, and the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

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