Growing up, the thing I most wanted to be was…on my younger sister’s soccer team. Well, I am sure there were other things I longed for but I remember that longing was fierce. They were a year younger than me, the Sterling Concorde 73’s and I of course, could not play down. Their team had picnics and sleepovers and they were tough competition as well. They traveled to Georgia for tournaments and splashed in the hotel pools. They had nicknames for each other and matching orange and black bags (ugh, 80’s colors).
They let me play too, but not on the field of course.
I so wanted to be on the Concorde.
Growing up in Sterling, when the Concorde flew over, everyone would go outside and yell up to the sky, “Concorde!” I wanted to be part of that team. The Sterling team in my age group did not have that kind of camaraderie. I really never found my travel home.
But that didn’t stop me from playing for my high school, Broad Run and forming life long friendships with that team and then after that, I never stopped playing. As of last year, I had 40 years of playing under my shinguards. My teams now are full of other mothers and women like myself who still love the thrill of a great through ball or a well struck shot on goal.
Soccer is way of life for me and my family. I even met my husband (another LFC coach and club rep) on a co-ed soccer team. My two sons also play on LFC teams, the Alliance and Infinity.
The Storm is team of fun competitive girls. Girls who can be motivated by getting to pet the coach’s new puppy (yes, this strategy worked in a game this season). Girls who run 5K’s together off the field, have team pool parties and after every game line up to cheer the other team’s efforts, win, lose or draw.
I have found that coaching girls is not just foot skills, it’s life skills, it is perseverance and team work. It’s pushing through the tough stuff, trying something new. And coaching my daughter, that has been a joy and yes, sometimes a struggle as we bicker in the car about where she left her shinguards but that’s okay. In fact, that is something as a coach that I like to impart to my player’s parents. Some days, it will be exhausting just pulling up those tight soccer socks and you may realize you brought the wrong size soccer ball. But it’s all okay. Because it is soccer, the beautiful game. And you showed up to play.
I am so honored to be the coach of the Storm and to be with LFC. LFC is a soccer home for both me and my daughter and my whole family. It has been a great experience and I can not wait to see how our team grows.
And now, we can go outside when the afternoon thunderstorms roll in over the Loudoun County hills and yell “STORM!”
This was a guest post by Coach Beth Fuller of the Leesburg FC 07 Girls team the Storm! If you or someone you know is interested in forming a team at Leesburg FC, please click the button below to get started.