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  • Writer's picturePeter Miller

Coaches are important educational leaders in our schools, communities, and universities. The Sport and the Growing Good (SGG) podcast provides embedded, front-line insights on winning and positive development. The SGG podcast can be heard here and on all major podcast platforms.

Paula Wilkins is the head coach of the University of Wisconsin’s women’s soccer team. After competing at Division 1 and national levels, she’s been a successful coach in major college soccer – at both Penn State and Wisconsin. Coach Wilkins is full of wisdom. In this episode of the SGG podcast, we discussed:

1.  The advantages of playing soccer with boys until age 16.

2.  Her first soccer coach – and his long-term impact on her trajectory.

3.  The ways her college coach trusted her – and prepared her for a coaching future.

4.  The characteristics of successful youth soccer coaches – including honesty.

5.  Learning about recruits from opposing club coaches and opposing club players.

6.  Looking for a special talent/skill in a young player, and how the skill shows when times are tough. 7.  The changes she made in 2013-14, including improvements in communication.

8.  Defining effort.

9.  Her everyday habit of touching base with each of her players during warm-ups.

10.  Writing out each day’s practice plan and theme so players know what to expect before they begin. 11.  Letting former players know about their lasting impact on the program.

12.  Getting things in order before something bad happens.


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