At Nebraska Soccer Talk, we love covering everything soccer related. For the most part, that means covering games and providing analysis/opinions. However, our overall mission and purpose is far reaching and ambitious. Our goal is to bring the soccer community closer together through collaboration and communication. There are countless people that deserve recognition for their efforts as a player, official, or coach. Throughout the season, we will be highlighting these individuals through our Get To Know Me articles.
This will be a series made up of three different components. All of which are meant to bring attention to the soccer community.
- Get To Know Me (Coach Edition) – These individuals are responsible for building their programs, growing the game of soccer, and mentoring the next generation. We look forward to learning about their lives and philosophies.
- Get To Know Me (Player Edition) – This article series will focus on high school juniors and seniors that have demonstrated themselves to be quality players and people. With these features, our community will learn about some of the most impressive players in the state.
- Future of the Game – This article series will focus on the freshmen and sophomore classes. These are players that we will be covering for years to come.
Thank you to every individual that provided information for this idea. We appreciate your thoughtful and timely responses.
Name of High School Program: Elkhorn South Girls Soccer
Occupation Outside of Coaching: High School Math Teacher (and mom!)
Favorite Professional Soccer Team: US Women’s National Team
Soccer Idol (Player or Coach): Julie Ertz
Who would you consider to be your soccer mentor? What is the story behind your selection? How did they help you in your soccer journey?
My high school soccer coach (who is still coaching at Millard West), Jacque Tevis-Butler. When I played for her in high school, she had a way of getting our team to focus and play our best soccer, but always made the process enjoyable. She made you love the game even more than before the season started. After I became a head coach, there have been countless times I have reached out to her for opinions, advice, and guidance. She never hesitates to listen and help me through whatever challenge I may be facing, even after all these years. But …. she will hate every minute of me calling her my “mentor” in this article! 🙂
Describe a favorite soccer memory that you have been involved with. This memory could be from your playing or coaching experiences. Tell us the story and impact of this memory.
Winning state in 2015 and 2019 are memories I will never forget, but I think one of the most pivotal moments for me as a coach was the Metro Conference Championship game in 2018. Being down 0-2 at half and keeping a team motivated enough to stay in the game is a difficult task for even the most experienced of coaches. Watching my team believe in themselves and fight their way back into the game to tie it up 2-2 during regulation and then finding the back of the net in overtime to win the game 3-2 was such a proud moment for me as a coach. Getting kids to believe in themselves is such an impactful moment for any coach and something you hope they continue to do even when their time playing for you is over.
List and describe three important pillars or values of your program. What is the culture of your program built on? What do they mean to you?
Respect – Respect starts with respecting yourself. Recognize your abilities and believe in yourself. Along with respecting yourself, you have to respect others. Support others, acknowledge their feelings, and accept all teammates, coaches, team managers, etc. Be welcoming and respectful of officials and opposing teams and value the time and effort your teammates and coaches are putting in to make you a better person and player.
Discipline and Accountability – In life you have to accept responsibility for actions or outcomes. We believe in holding players to a standard and if that standard is not met, we accept responsibility and make a plan to change the unwanted outcomes. This is more about navigating life lessons than it is about winning soccer games. Sports are there to teach kids and to hold them accountable when they make mistakes. This allows them to make mistakes in a comfortable environment, learn from them, and move on.
Teamwork – There is not much you can accomplish in life without teamwork. Nearly every aspect of life requires you to work with others. Your career, raising a family, friendship, etc. It is important that players learn from a young age how to work with others and even with others that may not have the same skill set or beliefs you have.
What is your motivation for coaching? This is a time-consuming and challenging occupation. Why do you do it?
I hope to influence and empower young women not only in their soccer journey, but also in life. The most important part of coaching is developing players into ethical, thoughtful, intentional people. You want to be there to offer support and encouragement as your players are going through such an important time in their lives where they are developing into adults. As a high school teacher, I have the opportunity to do this every day, but the lasting relationships you have with your players in something different. There is an overwhelming amount of joy I feel when former players contact me for advice, to update me on their accomplishments, or simplify just to check in.
Thank you for reading and being a part of our new community. A like, share, comment or recommendation of content would be greatly appreciated. In order to financially support our efforts, sponsorship/partnership opportunities have become available. Sponsors will receive vast exposure to the Nebraska soccer community through different media avenues. The sponsorship process is easy and reasonable.
Contact us on our website or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.