Neuse River Spotlight (September 2023)
NRFA Academy Girls
Inside the Mind of a Passionate Coach: An Exclusive Interview with Coach Mack
In the world of sports, coaches play a crucial role in shaping young athletes and nurturing love for the game. Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with a coach who has seamlessly blended their playing experience, passion for soccer, and dedication to mentorship. Join us as we delve into Coach Mack’s journey, beliefs, and the unique aspects that define her coaching style.
NRFA: How long have you been coaching and what are some standout moments from your coaching career so far?
Coach Mack: I've been coaching for three fulfilling years. During this time, I've had the privilege of guiding the Girls Academy. It's been a remarkable journey, full of growth and learning. One standout moment was witnessing my players' growth – not just in terms of skill, but also as individuals. Seeing them develop confidence on and off the field has been truly rewarding.
NRFA: When did your soccer journey begin, and how does your playing experience influence your coaching approach?
Coach Mack: My soccer journey started with my dad, Coach Keith. We used to play together, and that's when I fell in love with the game. Playing alongside my father instilled a sense of camaraderie and joy that I now bring to my coaching sessions. I believe that making learning enjoyable through play enhances the overall experience and leads to better results.
NRFA: Could you share the teams you're currently coaching and the goals you've set for them this season?
Coach Mack: Presently, I'm focused on coaching the Girls Academy. My goal for this season is to nurture the growth of not just one, but three teams. I'm passionate about helping my players become not only skilled athletes but also empowered individuals. This season, we're working together to achieve excellence both on and off the field.
NRFA: What's your favorite aspect of being part of NRFA?
Coach Mack: Being a part of NRFA is a truly enriching experience. The best part is the sense of community and collaboration. Working with an exceptional group of staff, along with the support of my family and friends, creates an environment of shared goals. And when the players arrive at training with smiles and excitement, it reminds me of the positive impact coaching can have.
NRFA: Is there a quote that inspires you and your coaching philosophy?
Coach Mack: Absolutely. One quote that deeply resonates with me is, "If you water it, if you feed it, you're going to grow more of it." This philosophy fuels my coaching style. Just like nurturing a plant, I believe in providing players with kindness, love, and responsibility. Empowering them to take charge of their own growth is a fundamental principle I stand by.
NRFA: Could you share a fun fact about yourself that showcases your personality outside of coaching?
Coach Mack: Certainly! Outside of coaching, I have a unique love for soccer and beyond. I won a trip to England to attend an exhilarating EPL match between Manchester United and Everton. It was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to witness the game I'm passionate about on an international stage. When I'm not coaching, you'll find me spending quality time with my dog and delving into captivating reads.
In a world where mentorship and passion are at the core of every coach's journey, Coach Mack’s story serves as a reminder that the influence of a dedicated mentor extends far beyond the field. With a perfect blend of playing experience, a love for soccer, and a commitment to growth, Coach Mack continue to shape the lives of young athletes while fostering a sense of community and excellence.