Q & A with Allison Martino
Posted on Jun 5, 2013 0 Comments
Allison Martino is an NSCAA member and also a coach starting out in the profession. She is currently an assistant soccer coach at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She played collegiate soccer at Texas A&M University and had a brief stint in WPS before returning to Texas to become a coach.
Allison talked with us about her experience as a budding soccer coach and her transition from being a player. Here are her thoughts.
Allison Martino, currently assistant soccer coach at Rice University. I was fortunate enough to play collegiate soccer at Texas A&M University. After college I was drafted by the Boston Breakers in the inaugural season of WPS. After my brief stint in Boston I went back to Texas to follow my dreams of being a college soccer coach. I volunteered at Texas A&M for one season and learned a tremendous amount from G, Phil and Lori. I got my first full time position at Texas State University in 2009. I spent one season under Kat Conner at Texas State before leaving for Rice. I am now going into my third season under Nicky Adams at Rice University.
2) What do you enjoy most about the coaching profession?
I think the part of coaching I enjoy the most is helping all of our young women grow and mature into strong, upstanding, confident women. Building relationships with each player and learning what each are passionate about and how to channel soccer into each individual passion is a great aspect of the job. Soccer has always been my first love, so I think the players have a great example of what doing what you love is all about.
3) How did you begin your professional career?
I fell in love with coaching at Texas A&M. Watching how much fun G, Lori and Phil had while managing the stress of 18-21 year olds and winning championships, it was everything I wanted in my life. So naturally I went back to Texas A&M after my playing career was over and spent a year learning. I worked in the office with Lori in the morning and learned about all of the business side of coaching. Then I would spend the afternoon with Phil, talking about practice sessions. What he wanted to accomplish each day, week, month. Why practices flowed the way they did, goals and coaching points in every segment of practice. He let me run sessions, make mistakes and teach me why it didn’t work and what can be done better. It was an amazing opportunity that most don’t get to learn from great coaches and gain confidence to step out and practice my own personal thoughts and ideas.
4) What specifically has helped you to become a better coach?
What has helped me has been learning from multiple coaches that teach the game differently. Exchanging practice plans and general information with different coaches from different division with individualized goals. Also continuing to watch as much soccer as I can and continuing to grow with the game.
5) What professional aspirations do you have?
I would ultimately like to be a Head Coach, that guides a program into the top 25 and consistently make the NCAA tournament.