NEFC has some wonderful and amazing female coaches and players and feel it is time we highlight them so that the club can learn more about our heart and soul!
This next month, we want to introduce Meaghan Elliott. She coaches our Bristol County 06 Girls Navy team along with Norton Youth and Norton High School Girls teams.
We asked a bunch of questions ranging from personal to professional – hope you enjoy getting to know her better, like we did!
Hi, my name is Meagan! I am a coach for the NEFC Bristol County Girls 2006 Navy Team and this is my second year with the club. I have been coaching soccer since 2008, beginning at the recreational level and naturally progressing to more competitive levels including high school and club around 2016. I currently also coach the Norton High School Girls Soccer Program, which is my alma mater, as well as the Norton United Girls Soccer U10 DII Travel Team. I have a deep passion for coaching and I look forward to continuing my journey of helping to develop and inspire young female athletes.
My favorite team to watch is whatever team I am coaching at the moment.
My favorite player is every single one of my players.
My coaching philosophy is definitely multifaceted, but I think the main points I center everything around are: (1) coach from the bottom up and build legitimate depth; (2) holistically coach the individual, not just the player; (3) teach every player that they can achieve anything they set their mind to if they demonstrate consistency, determination, and perseverance; and (4) everything you want in life, you have to earn it every single day. With that in mind, I adhere to the following mission:
My mission is to take the student-athlete where she cannot take herself. As a coach, I will be supportive and active in promoting academic and athletic achievement. I feel that success is measured in terms of the ability of the student-athlete to reach their full potential. My responsibility as a coach is to exhibit an exemplary foundation of leadership and mentor my players to help them identify and then reach their potential as people, students, and athletes. I understand that for my soccer program to be successful, there must be a coach who cares about players, players who care about coaches, and players that care about one another. All players who are members of the program understand playing girls soccer demands tremendous commitment and dedication to the game and their team. Likewise, parents make great commitment and sacrifice for their daughters to play with the team. Playing for any of my programs is a privilege, not a right.
My favorite personal soccer memory is when I was 5 years old, and I cried the first time I played in an actual soccer game. I ran off the field over to my dad with tears streaming
down my face, scared and determined to go home and never go back to soccer. My dad
looked at me, wiped the tears from my cheeks, and said “you can do this, just go get the
ball.” I never looked back, and never feared the game again. From that point forward,
soccer became my life and my biggest passion. I played competitively year-round until I
was recruited to play at the collegiate level. When I finished my last collegiate game my
senior year, I immediately switched gears to coaching. And now that memory sits at the
core of the ideology that I coach by. All kids need sometimes is someone to look at them, tell them they can do it, believe in them, and not let them quit when it gets hard or scary.
My pregame ritual consists of the following two pieces: (1) listen to my own music
separately; and (2) I never warm-up in my jersey, but always make sure I warm-up in the same shirt for every game.
I can’t live without Outshine Organic Frozen Fruit Bars (lime flavor).
I got into coaching for the following three reasons: (1) I had so much passion and
knowledge for the game that I wanted to share it with others, especially those with
malleable minds; (2) I knew that I was not done with the sport after I played my last
competitive game and found that coaching was the best transition to stay connected
(and I know now that I love coaching more than playing at this point); and (3) after
playing competitively for over 15 years, I realized that too many coaches just identify and rely on basic talent, completely overlooking so many inherent capabilities, because they are focusing heavily on simply winning games, and I have never agreed with that
approach. I knew that I wanted to give every individual an opportunity if they wanted it,
because sometimes all it takes to unlock an athlete’s power and potential is to tell them
“you can do this, I believe in you. I knew that I wanted to provide every individual a safe
space to try and to grow. I knew that my approach would be to develop all players, and
to do so through a manner in which we were both striving for their fullest potential as an
individual. And I knew that soccer, just like any sport, is simply a tool through which we
can provide young minds with the skills, knowledge, and abilities that they will carry with
them for the rest of their life. As coaches, we can really make an impact on our
student-athletes, and I have witnessed far too many cases where the impact turned out
negative. I knew that I wanted to be the change, even if for just one athlete, that pushed
them to have the confidence to go after their dreams.
The legacy that I hope to leave with each of my players is that they are genuinely
capable of achieving anything that they set their mind to, and that hard work,
consistency, perseverance, and self-belief /confidence will always pay off / lead them to
their goals. I also hope to leave them with the mindset that you do not slow down, back
off or quit until after you have crossed the line.
I think my most successful moment as a coach was working with a student-athlete a few
years back. She unfortunately dealt with some very serious mental and emotional affairs
that ultimately affected all facets of her life including soccer, school, and home. I was
able to provide this student-athlete with a safe space (within my scope of practice), one
free of judgment and callousness. I was able to provide her the kind of support and
guidance that ultimately allowed her to tackle her battles clinically and with prudence, but also with confidence, courage, grace, and bravery. She embodied what it means to be resilient and to persevere through adversity. She rose high above her challenges in an unbelievable fashion, and upon her return, discovered her true voice, recognized her
intelligence, and whole-heartedy believed in her capabilities. And she ultimately ended
up having the best season of her athletic career. I will never forget the email that her
parents sent me afterwards. But I really will never forget the letter she wrote me herself
because what she wrote in her letter is the reason why I coach, and it honestly had nothing to do with soccer. I can only hope that she never forgets how truly powerful she really is.
My favorite quote is “All you need is in your soul.”
My favorite sport aside from soccer is ice hockey.
My favorite tradition is one that stems from the girls soccer program at Norton High
School. It is called “rolling the dice,” and it is a bonding celebration that we do as a team
in a circle after a hard-fought win. When I was a freshman in high school as a part of this program, one of my captains at the time taught this celebration to my teammates and I. It remained a tradition that I continued to practice with my teammates throughout my four-year high school career. And it has persisted within this program over the last 14 years, as it has been passed down year after year. Now it is a strong piece of the current program that I have returned to coach.