Sky Blue FC has named Colleen McGourley, the Director of Coaching at Stateline Soccer Club in Ramsey, NJ, as the club’s second TeamSnap Most Valuable Coach of 2020. The award honors coaches who have gone above and beyond for their players. McGourley, who coaches the club’s 2007, 2008, and 2009 girls teams, was nominated by Janille Fagundo for her commitment to the players and coaches during their shift to an online environment during the pandemic.
Coach Colleen McGourley has taken many steps to keep her players and the club’s coaches connected to the game while they are apart. Players have virtual training sessions and weekly Zoom chats to help them develop their skills from home. Additionally, the club has kept their players mentally strong through activity books and homework sheets. With McGourley’s help, Stateline teams have even been treated to special video calls from USWNT legend Mia Hamm and current Real Salt Lake forward Giuseppe Rossi. Meanwhile, the coaches had the opportunity to chat with former Sky Blue FC (WPS) player and USWNT international Heather O’Reilly about keeping the club motivated through this difficult time. Stateline coaches have also stayed connected through virtual happy hours while they all practice social distancing behaviors.
McGourley’s efforts to help the Stateline community stay engaged while at home go far beyond soccer-related activities. The club has been doing social media posts and birthday drive-by events for players who have been forced to celebrate from home. Parents were also included in the online fun, as they recently joined the club’s Weekend Challenge, which involved players making videos of them dancing with their parents. Many of these videos have been posted on Stateline’s Instagram account. The club has also launched its “Stateline Heroes” series on social media, which recognizes Stateline parents who are working on the front lines during this pandemic. Through these initiatives, McGourley has helped show that parents are just as much a part of the club as the coaches and players.
Speaking to the club’s pandemic response, McGourley says, “I truly feel that during these times, when these kids’ normal daily routines were taken away from them in a heartbeat with no warning, it is important for us all to come together as one to help every child.”
Coach Colleen McGourley has certainly helped her players, coaches, and their families come together during this difficult time, and Stateline SC is a better club because of it.
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