October 8, 2014
Kristine Lilly is Korrio’s Soccer Ambassador and we asked her for an update on her recent move to Texas.
I never thought coaching would be this hard. I am a volunteer assistant at the University of Texas for their women’s soccer team. I took this opportunity to see how I would like coaching. I have spent most of my coaching teaching 7- 18 year olds kids in a camp and clinic based structure. I have not coached a team. So, to see them develop as not only individuals but as a team is pretty amazing.
Now when I say it isn’t easy, I am referring to me more than the kids. I have realized that I want to help the players be successful and that I have so much information I want to share with them. So narrowing down my focus to a couple points at a time will help them be better. Half the time I just want to get out there and do it for them, but realize I can’t and have to find the right way to address the players and get the point across to them. It is a challenge but rewarding when you see them understand.
The head coach of the University of Texas is a former UNC teammate, and a longtime friend, Angela Kelly. Prior to Texas she spent 16 years developing the program at the University of Tennessee. She does a great job with the players and we have a similar coaching philosophy so it makes it a good fit.
Whenever I coach I hope the players feel the passion and love I have for the game – but also how much fun it is to play. Yes, you want them to train hard and work hard but the aspect of fun needs to be in there. At this higher level it is just finding the balance. At the end of the day, you want the experience for the players to be one in which they improve as a player and know that they always have more to give and that they develop confidence and self esteem that will help them both on and off the field.
Hopefully when they are telling stories about their time at college that they share how much fun it was to play there and how it helped them grow as a person. When I look back at my time at UNC, I do believe Anson helped me be a better player but also helped to give me confidence. I really enjoyed my 4 years there. In the end it is all about the players, not about us coaches!