Notes from Coach Nicole

Over the last 35 years of coaching and playing soccer, I never thought I would miss the game in quite this way. Being told to take a short break, then a long break, then keep waiting for a cohesive direction, and finally to keep my distance and coach in a hands-off fashion was tough. I couldn’t wait to get back on the field with all the players again! I know many of the kids shared my frustration and were beyond overjoyed to start practicing and playing again.

First, let me state that I hold a deep sense of gratitude to the families who trusted MSC to help their children return to the game of soccer. It was a struggle for all of us, being uncertain of what would happen the next week, but we never forgot that our first priority was to the kids. I met virtually with the State each week during the quarantine as they tried to condition the directors and clubs to facilitate a safe transition back to the “greatest game,” and I spoke often of the need to return to play. Further, I know the decision to allow the children to interact with our staff and other players was a difficult one for some families. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us bring soccer back to our community, which helps strengthen and empower us all.

I also want to take a moment to thank all of our volunteer coaches and staff for helping make this fall so much fun for the kids! The coaches for doing a great job of following socially distanced instruction and play, and the managers for communicating the many games and player-passing to the families. I want to thank the families for supporting our kids this fall and cheering them through the games in a respectful and safe manner.

Most importantly, I want to thank our players. Taking more than 2 months off caused us all to shift our focus. Watching the players get back in shape, rebuild team connections, and strengthen their individual skills while competing with their new teammates really inspired me. Thank you for pushing yourselves and sharing your resilience with your teammates, families, and all of our staff!

Our Youth Academy took yet another step forward this year into the Club vs Club model. We were able to bring our entire girls and boys programs, and all of the families in the U8-U10 teams, to the same location on Saturdays and Sundays to play opposing clubs. This was wonderful as it allowed the families to watch all of their children rather than having to choose which games they could make it to. Coaches could assist with multiple levels of play under this model, and the club was able to foster player development as many kids had the opportunity to play in multiple games on one day.

As a club and staff, we are looking forward to whatever challenges may face us in the coming year so that we may overcome them and grow as a cohesive family and further the nurturing and training of our younger generations.

– Nicole Schmidt Nowicki
    Director of Coaching