Justin Bross coaches the BU10 Outlaws. He is enthusiastic and beloved by his team, so we asked him to comment on his experience coaching for MIFC. Here is what he had to say:
Volunteering as a coach is a great way to give back to the sport I grew up playing and to Mercer Island. I enjoy playing with the kids and am proud of their improvement in decision making, communication and teamwork skills. It’s great to see my players gain confidence through soccer, though not everyone is successful right away. For some, it doesn’t come together in one season. Seeing kids take risks and persevere through the learning process is a lesson I get from them as well.
What I find most challenging as a coach is the sense of responsibility to the families and players to be “perfect” with the team. If a practice doesn’t work out the way I planned, or I didn’t communicate to a player the right way for them to receive a message, it can feel like I’m failing. Thankfully, MIFC and USA Soccer have great resources to help develop coaches and build on continuous improvement.
I first volunteered to coach with some hesitation, hearing horror stories from others about bad parents, bad kids and disorganized clubs. My experience after many seasons in MIFC has been 100% the opposite. MIFC families have been so encouraging of the players, kids have built lasting friendships and everyone across the club supports building positive outcomes for the sport and our community. We ask our kids to participate and take the risk in joining a soccer program, I’d encourage all the parents to do the same. Find ways to be involved with MIFC and the growth of the players.