This is your June 2022 Coaches Community Newsletter. Below you will find updates from our Coaches Communities and how you can get involved. We hope you’ll take the time to read through the following newsletter and reach out to the Communities you are interested in.
As a quick reminder, our Advocacy Groups are now referred to as Coaches Communities. Here’s why we made the change: Even though all of the association’s members are united around our love for the game, we found that many were looking for a deeper feeling of belonging. Our Advocacy Groups quickly became the place for coaches to find that connection and now those groups are called Coaches Communities, reflecting the sense of community coaches are looking for.
United Soccer Coaches
The Asian-Pacific Islander Coaches Community has had a terrific start to 2022. After formerly becoming the newest United Soccer Coaches Advocacy Group in April 2021, we were excited and grateful to have a presence at Convention ’22 in Kansas City. After meeting monthly on Zoom, it was an amazing feeling to see heritage and ally members come together at Convention events. Thanks to United Soccer Coaches personnel, we had two lecture sessions (Empowering and Advocating for Women in the Global Environment; The Asian and Pacific Islander Contributions to the World’s Beautiful Game), a social, and a meeting. At Advocacy Hour, we were able to read the citation for the first-ever API Award of Excellence honoree, Franz Gastler of YUWA-India. This was history-making since there had never been such an API presence and awareness in the association.
At that time, we also celebrated various member successes. For example, both Kat Khosrowyar (Iran) and Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak (USA) got called in to coach their respective Women’s National Teams. Lorrie Fair Allen along with others helped to launch the first season of NWSL’s Angel City. Since January, our leadership continues to meet (virtually) monthly, as does our full membership. We have been active participants in restructuring our group and working on key subcommittee areas common to all Coaches Communities (Advocacy, Convention, Awards/Honors/Rankings, Scholarship & Grants, Marketing Content, 30 Under 30, Education) and others of interest for our group.
In addition, we have had wonderful guests. For example, two of our members (Chris Malenab and Chris Le) spoke to the group on issues of suicide and mental health. In different calls, we had visits from Franz Gastler (YUWA-India), Bill Steffen (United Soccer Coaches on the topic of ethics in sport), and the legendary Anson Dorrance. In future calls, we will have Amy Huchthausen (4AAPI), Shawna Palmer (Football for Her), Mark Krikorian and more. There are so many members in and out of our membership who we enjoy learning from, seeking community with, and growing together in this joyful journey
We are also excited about various forays to make connections with a variety of organizations that are already allies to United Soccer Coaches (United States Youth Soccer, NCAA, MLS, etc.). It has also been a joy being a part of Dean Linke’s Podcasts, one in which we shared resources regarding mental health in advance of World Semicolon Day (April 16) and Mental Health Awareness Month (May) and in another one where Neel Bhattacharjee, Michelle Okumara, Elias Perez-Zetune (an ally and 30 Under 30 member), and myself chatted with Dean about API Heritage Month (May). Neel and I have also been guests on Gleen Crooks’s The Coaching Academy on SiriusXM, and Neel is also a guest on segments from NCAA/4AAPI. Thanks also to Lee Jarrell, Bailey Conklin and the United Soccer Coaches team, we have much more of a presence on social media (we are most active on Twitter @API_coaches and on Facebook). Thus, we are out and about to increase awareness as well as have a voice where API hasn’t actively had one before.
Most importantly, we continue to learn about all of our members and grow membership—it’s all about the people when it comes down to United Soccer Coaches, isn’t it? We love the connection with our members and the levels we represent under the umbrella of the association. We love the fact that allies regularly attend our meetings, as connecting with other Coaches Communities and levels makes all of us stronger. We have quite a talented network of members whose heritage spans almost every area of the vast API region. We look forward to an eventful rest of the year—the best way to stay in touch with what we are working on is to join us. Complete the form on the association website, send us a message or reach out via social media. Looking forward to connecting with you soon!
The Disabilities Allies Coaching Community is excited about the upcoming Disabilities Awareness Week in July! Please keep an eye on United Soccer Coaches social media for more information on events that week as July gets closer. We also are thrilled to highlight the success of three disability national teams and their coaches who competed in international events in April and May.
The US Para MNT was led by their head coach, Stuart Sharp, to their best finish ever at a world competition when they finished in fourth place at the 2022 IFCPF World Cup in Spain. The US Para WNT and their head coach Tricia Taliaferro won the first ever IFCPF World Cup with an exciting overtime victory over Australia in the final. The US Deaf Women’s National Team, coached by Amy Griffin and Joy Fawcett, captured their fourth straight gold medal with a thrilling win in PKs against Poland at the Deaflympics in Brazil. Congratulations to all of these teams and their coaches!
Please check out our most recent newsletter for more information on our coaching community through the first half of 2022. Happy Summer!
Simon Sinek’s best-selling book, Start With Why starts with why! Followed by how and then what, Sinek reveals how reversing order of what most still do, whether we are a top company trying to sell a key product or a successful coach preparing for another season, makes a big difference. It’s not easy though as we were taught to start with the subject at the beginning of the sentence. It makes sense yet it rarely engages the brain like the predicate, which includes the action and the outcome. Changing up the order and starting with why captures the imagination. We are doers and doers know it’s in the doing that leads to getting stuff done (the what). Start With Why is an excellent read (or re-read if it’s been awhile) for the summer!
When not engrossed in a summer reading book, I invite you to venture into one or more United Soccer Coaches Coaches Communities. United Soccer Coaches restructured the Advocacy Groups into Coaches Communities which keeps its advocacy roles but provides a broader platform for engagement of actions (the many whys) for each of the Communities. Our Faith-Based Coaches (FBC) remains one of many communities to share your passions. Our FBC why has not changed; we exist to serve. Service to others will always be our north star. Out of our service to our players, to our fellow coaches, to all our stakeholders, we know all good things come, the fruits from the actions of great service being done by so many of our members. Thanks to all for your many good works past, present and future.
Speaking of the future, HOLD THE DATE for our marquis event this summer on July 19, featuring Chad Busick of Championship Mindset and Jon Gordon’s Power of Positive Leadership team. Check out the promo for this event in this newsletter!
I encourage you to make this summer one of your best ever. Until then, remember people always come first, the mission never comes second and we are committed to sportsmanship and ethics always … FBC, Go Forth and Lead the Way!
Chair, Faith-Based Coaches Community
How is it June 2022 already? This year is going by so fast. Hopefully you are enjoying your time on and off the field. For most of us, we are in season and might find it hard to stay connected so we hope that this newsletter will get you up to date on what your Latino Coaches Community group has been up to so far this year! We will also highlight some projects, opportunities to network, and of course celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month coming ahead in the next couple of months. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more about our group or if you would like to get involved.
The Latino Coaches Community Social at Convention was well attended, and our coaches were able to listen to our new United Soccer Coaches President Ashlee Fontes-Comber (First Latina to hold such an important position). We came away inspired to continue to make a difference in the lives of our players and our communities through the beautiful game. Reuniting in Kansas City was welcomed and appreciated by all that attended the convention. We look forward to seeing all of you again, in Philadelphia 2023!
In March, Latino Coaches Community Chair Mauricio Lozada was invited on to the United Soccer Coaches Podcast, pres. By LeagueApps, to chat with Host Dean Linke about the group. Listen to that podcast here. Latino Coaches Community Member Mario Zuniga-Gil teamed up with United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching Education Vince Ganzberg to deliver a Give & Go activity. Watch that activity here. Join us for our next Latino Coaches Meeting on June 19th at 7 PM CST. Register for this meeting here.
The LGBTQ+ and Allies Coaches Community has been busy welcoming our new Chair, Kaig Lightner, as he has taken the helm from the first and only Chair and Community co-founder, Dan Woog. Our sights are set squarely on preparing for Pride month. We are working on booking some very special guests to drop in on our social channels, a steady diet of daily social posts highlighting current organizations, clubs and groups that are doing a fantastic job of supporting LGBTQ+ athletes and coaches, plus our fearless leader, Kaig, will be sitting down with Dean Linke for the first June episode of the United Soccer Coaches podcast.
But, showing support for LGBTQ+ athletes and coaches is more than just a month-long sprint, it’s a lifetime marathon. So, we’re putting our energies into planning the absolute best Play with Pride event in September, updating our Diversity and Inclusion education training, and bringing the stories of LGBTQ+ athletes and coaches to life. We’d love to have more supporters! Sign up to join our Coaches Community and let us know if you’re interested in joining the newly formed committees!
Since our last newsletter, we’ve seen women’s attendance records smashed in Europe, the U.S. Women’s National Team achieve pay parity with the U.S. Men, and the induction of more women into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. The message is clear: Investment in the women’s game is growing and the ROI is limitless. All of these achievements are coming within months of the 50 the anniversary of Title IX and although we can recognize, based on these results, how far we have come in the women’s game, we still have our work cut out for us.
Women coaches are still facing obstacles maintaining careers while working to grow their families. Many of our colleagues are navigating athletic departments and clubs still heavily impacted by the financial constraints of COVID. It’s clear that so many of us need the network and support offered by our coaching community. Just know that if you’re struggling with some aspect of your career and are looking for support, the Women Coaches Community is here to support and provide the resources you need. Mary Shimko, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer at Brandeis University, recently established a ListServ for all of us to connect and communicate via email. If you’re interested in joining the email list, please submit your information here and we’ll send you an invite!
Stay tuned for our next Women Coaches Community Newsletter scheduled for early next week. To stay informed on all our updates, please fill out the form on our webpage here.