Kelly McDonald has been announced as the latest Sky Blue TeamSnap MVC. She currently coaches 7-10 year-old girls on the Kearny Thistle United Strong and Kearny Thistle United Fusion teams. Since COVID-19 suspended her teams’ seasons, McDonald has worked tirelessly to keep her teams active and engaged.
Sky Blue’s TeamSnap MVC honors coaches in our communities that exemplify an undeniable commitment to player growth and education. During this difficult time, we are hoping to shine a light on coaches that are going above and beyond for their team whilst navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with young girls, McDonald has focused on creating a sense of normalcy during quarantine as much as developing her players skills. During the week, she sends out challenges for her players to work on, and has them send videos of their progress to her. She also used the Techne app to create a reward system when players used the app to practice to keep her players in game shape. Beyond that, she also had online meetings to keep the teams connected. “We had Zoom meetings once a week to work out together and also just have fun with each other,” said McDonald.“I felt very strongly that the Zoom meeting needed to focus less on skill and more on feeling a sense of normalcy even though we couldn’t be together.”
“Having worked with Coach McDonald last season, she is the definition of a MVC,” said Sky Blue Business Development Manager Matt Berner. “She inspires her players to accomplish their goals on and off the pitch and is passionate about being a role model. I can’t think of a better person to be recognized in this way.”
With COVID restrictions easing up, McDonald has been able to get her team back on the pitch for socially-distanced training. Returning to the field has helped McDonald’s teams get back into a routine. More than regaining any skill the girls may have lost, McDonald is focusing on reinforcing the ideals and values she began teaching them before quarantine. “A big part of my philosophy as a coach is making sure each player knows that some of the most important things are being a good teammate, giving 100% of your effort, and having fun,” said McDonald. “Being back on the field has made it easier to connect with the girls and remind them of those principles.” McDonald knows that her role as a coach makes an impression that lasts long after the end of the season.
“My hope for being a coach is to inspire the next generation of female coaches and leave a lasting impression that makes kids keep returning to play.”
Sky Blue FC is committed to acknowledging great coaches in our communities that go above and beyond on and off the field. If you have an amazing coach, nominate them for Sky Blue FC TeamSnap MVC here.