H.E.R. Coaching Scholarship Spotlight | Madison Pickett

RICHMOND, VA (April 18, 2018) – As part of the Amazing Young WomenTM campaign, the Girls Elite Clubs National League (Girls ECNL) developed the H.E.R. Coaching Scholarship Program to encourage female players to enter the coaching profession, and to help the next generation of coaches and leaders continue to raise the bar in youth soccer. The ECNL selected the first scholarship recipients in 2015 and has continued the successful program for four years.

The 2018 scholarship recipients included ten women from across the country that were chosen from a pool of talented applicants to continue their coaching development and receive a scholarship to pursue a USSF Grassroots or “D” coaching license. The ECNL launched this program specifically for ECNL Alumni and aspiring female coaches.

Madison Pickett is a full-time soccer coach for Challenge Soccer Club, a founding Girls ECNL Member Club. She currently coaches four teams, including two (2) U11 teams, a U14 team and U15 team. Pickett has coached various ages, abilities and levels since 2007, and joined Challenge SC in 2015. She recently took the first part of a two-part course to obtain her USSF “D” coaching license, with the second half of the course scheduled for next month.

“I want to influence young players to be passionate in the game, and to give it their all, while creating their own style and personality in the game,” Pickett said about her coaching style and her inspiration to coach. “I hope to encourage other females to coach as they progress through their playing career, and give them the itch to give back to the game. Coaches have such a big impact on young lives, and I want to continue to be one of many role models to grow the game of soccer in the United States.”

The ECNL caught up with Pickett to learn more about the current coaching course she is in the process of completing, as well as some additional insight on her future coaching objectives.

Why did you decide to become a soccer coach?

I had so many great coaches throughout my career that encouraged me to share my soccer knowledge with others, that it inspired me to test it out. When I graduated college I was given a great opportunity to step into the coaching world, and took it with the idea that it would be part time.  Now I am looking to pursue coaching as a career, and look forward to education courses and seminars.

Now that you have completed Part 1 of the ‘D’ course, tell us a little about what you liked most:

The March course was eye opening and a lot of fun. Both the instructor and connections made with fellow attendees were monumental in my growth as a coach. The networking and friendships made are proving to be advantageous, and something that I will continue to cultivate for both resources and future coaching opportunities.

What is one takeaway from the course?

I learned how to simplify the communication process between coach and player by utilizing the guided discovery technique.  This method points a player in the general direction of the preferred answer and allows players to figure out the solution on their own.

How has taking this course affected your outlook on coaching?

I love to learn different ways to coach however and whenever I can. I think this course has just built to my knowledge and outlook of the game. Specifically, it has given me a different perspective on practice layout that I typically wouldn’t have done. From this course, I have a lot of new ideas to work it into my coaching style for the future.

What are you looking forward to in the second part of your course in May?

I am excited about the final testing. I look forward to seeing how I have developed throughout these few months since the first weekend of the course.

You’ve also taken the La Liga Formation Methodology Level 3 course, what was your take away from that course? I really liked the La Liga course. It showed me a perspective from another country who is very dominant in the international side of the game. It was nice to see what kind of sessions they put together for their youth players to develop them and I was able to take some of their practices back to my teams.

What role has the ECNL played in shaping your approach to the coaching world?

Not only has the ECNL given my players the exposure and opportunities they need, but it has done the same for me. I would never have gotten this opportunity anywhere else if it wasn’t for Challenge Soccer Club and their membership in the ECNL. Winning the H.E.R. Scholarship has given me even more of a platform to be a role model to female players.

What are your coaching aspirations and goals?

I want to be able to continue and grow and develop as a coach. I want to take full advantage of all of the resources there available to me, whether it is courses, colleagues, peers, or simply watching the game on my own. I firmly believe in constantly learning the game because like the game, it is never-ending. I want to be the best coach that I can be and continue to work my way up in the soccer industry.

Describe your favorite coaching moment:

My favorite moment in coaching thus far has been looking back at the growth each player and team has made.  The positive evolution of every player I have helped guide gives me a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life.  There is nothing more rewarding.

Madison, thank you for following your dreams and sharing your story. You are an Amazing Young Woman, and we look forward to following you as you continue along your coaching path, helping to pave the way for future H.E.R. Coaching Scholarship recipients.


About Amazing Young WomenTM:  Launched by the ECNL, the Amazing Young Women is a dynamic platform of online and local market activations that showcase and celebrate female role models offering an aspirational focus for all female athletes and teens as they prepare to be our next generation of leaders.  The ECNL is calling on all of the nation’s women to join the movement to celebrate the endless potential of today’s girls.

The #GAMECHANGER campaign celebrates the desire, ambition and impact of the ECNL athlete. #GAMECHANGER defines the inner struggle that SHE has on a daily basis, and showcases the choice to become great. It reaches deep into HER core, exposing all that makes her amazing, resilient and driven.

Amazing Young Women of the ECNL will be showcased at AmazingYoungWomen.com. Through testimonials, tips and tools, the website is providing all girls to view, share, and celebrate what it is to be motivated, strong, and successful.

About Girls Elite Clubs National League: The Girls Elite Clubs National League (Girls ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The Girls ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.

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