- 09.08.2020 11 Tips for First-Time Coaches
Amy joined PCA in September 2019 and currently works as the Partnership Manager covering the state of Colorado. As the Partnership Manager for PCA-Colorado, she is responsible for prospecting, developing and closing partnership opportunities. Key in this process is demonstrating the value of PCA programs for youth sport organizations and schools, resulting in an increased PCA partnership base for PCA-Colorado.
Amy comes to PCA from her position as Specialty Retail Store Manager for Runners Roost—where she managed the chain’s largest local grossing store in the Colorado retail chain. She also currently is the lead running coach of the Denver Chapter of Revolution Running.
1. What is your background in youth sports?
As a runt of the litter, I tried my fortune in any sport I could get involved in (softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer, track, and cross country). I landed on three sports in high school that allowed me to use my strengths of being quick and nimble: soccer, track, and cross country. This led to playing soccer and running track at The University of South Dakota. Fueled by my passion for sport and human behavior, I continued on to receive a Master’s degree in Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Denver. I’ve since been coaching and working with youth athletes, most recently coaching with a local running group in Denver.
2. What is your perception of the youth and high school sports landscape in Colorado?
Coming from a smaller community, I believe Colorado to have a very dynamic and vast experience for youth athletes. With so many options for youth, the challenge is not whether you can find an opportunity to participate but figuring out which activities and which level, location, club, coach, etc. is right for you.
While high school sports of all types are a huge focus in Colorado, public schools sports at the elementary and middle school levels are minimal. Most of the action for younger ages takes place through a web of non-profit and for-profit clubs and then expands into the schools during high school.
There is a huge opportunity to get involved in the intricate web that is Colorado youth sport in order to reach as many youth athletes, coaches, and parents as we can so we can provide the positive culture youth sport participants need.
3. What is your vision for WHAT PCA CAN Do in Colorado?
Just as the opportunities in Colorado youth sport are vast, so are the opportunities for PCA. PCA can set the tone for Colorado youth sports from first inception on up. My vision lies within getting entire sport districts involved with PCA in creating the standard on how to train coaches, athletes, parents, and leaders involved in youth sport. Along with that is the vision to engage all communities of Colorado from elementary schools and youth sports organizations to city organizations and local supporters.
4. What is your most memorable sports experience?
Kansas Soccer camp 1997. I was 12 and traveling to KU soccer camp with three of my best friends and teammates. We were going to spend one week away from home. Sleep in the dorms of KU. Eat at the same cafeteria as college students and did I mention be away from our parents for a whole week. The first day of camp was all about athlete placement. We performed skills, fitness, and tactical testing. At the end of the first day, we were placed onto our teams for the week. My friends all made the same team while I was placed on a lower team. The second day was tough. I felt like I should be with my friends on the higher up team. The coach of my group came up to me at one of our water breaks and told me to stay after practice that day to chat. He asked me how I was doing and I let him know my feelings about being on the wrong team. He nodded and said, “Amy, meet me here 10 minutes before practice tomorrow.” I did and we worked on everyone’s favorite drill in soccer, shooting. The catch was that I could only shoot with my left foot. It was tough but fun! I did this before and after every practice that week. We called this my “secret weapon” during the camp. I used this secret weapon during high school and eventually in college, playing on the left side of the field as midfielder and defender. For me, this coach took my broken spirit and gave it a secret weapon to excel with.