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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Zack Wayman

 

Name of High School Program: Columbus High Girls Soccer

Occupation Outside of Coaching: High School Social Studies Teacher

Favorite Professional Soccer Team: Arsenal

Favorite Soccer Coach: Jurgen Klopp

Favorite Soccer Player: Christian Pulisic

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? 

Have a few, starts with my high school coaches; Scott Steinbrook and Robert Mishou at Kearney High School during my playing days, they were the first to get me on the path to coaching. Then it was Matt Bice, former Nebraska ODP director, and former coach of Nebraska United Club team. It was him who taught me how to teach the game and connect to players. Finally Jess McHargue, Lexington Boys High School coach, an old club coach during my days in Kearney and my boss at Lexington while I was his assistant for two years (State Semi-finalists class B 2019). He taught me a lot about setting the standards and building a program from the ground up, he allowed me to grow and prepare for where I am now. For all of these coaches I am extremely grateful. Special shout out to Mike Doria, former head coach at Millard West (boys) for letting me volunteer coach to the State Semi-finals when I student taught (Spring 2017).

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.

First as a player for Kearney High School, came back down two goals in the second half against Millard West in the State quarterfinals (2013) to win in a PK shootout. We won 3-0 making all three of our first shots (I shot 2nd) and our GK, Quincy Bennet, blocked all three of Millard West’s shots (never seen it in my life). What made that so sweet is Millard West was the only loss we suffered in the regular season (besides a District final loss, we got in on Wildcard) and we only had 3 returning players for that season (a lot of people counting us out).

Coaching memory: Coming back from 1 goal down to win in OT with Lexington Boys Soccer in 2019 against Omaha Roncalli in State Quarterfinals. We had such a young team with great potential and it was such an emotional and positive experience to know how hard those players had worked and dedicated themselves and were rewarded for their efforts. Now many of those players are Juniors and Seniors trying to win state with Lexington in Class B (definitely a team to watch out for).

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? 

Connect – be positive in our communication with each other in verbal and body language, be attentive listeners with our coaches and teammates.
Commit – putting others and the team goals ahead of your own. What role can you fulfill to help the team find success. Do the little things that no one sees so we can accomplish the big things when everyone is watching.
Care – When you care about someone or something you are willing to put it all on the line for them. Only when we first connect and commit to each other, can we then care for each other. When you care you are willing to sacrifice and suffer for your teammates, not just in running open for a pass or spacing or defensive backtracking but taking care of grades in the classroom, doing the little things right to maintain character standards, etc.
The biggest thing I want players to strive for is “leave the place better than you found it”, not just our team buses, or locker rooms or sidelines, but when players leave the program they left it in a better place and left a lasting legacy for the program to build upon. That is my biggest focus on our culture.

What is your motivation for coaching? This is a time-consuming and challenging occupation. Why do you do it? 

To give players information I wish I would have known to be as successful on the field as possible. Secondly to teach them life lessons so that players are able find success in their own ways and leave their own legacy before pursuing their next goals in their life.

 

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.

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