Meet: Laurie McGinley
Roles: Football Development Officer at @GlasgowGirlsFC & Head Coach of the Senior Development Team
Can you give us a bit of background information on yourself?
Hi there, my name is Laurie McGinley and I am the Football Development Officer at Glasgow Girls FC. I am also the Head Coach of the Senior Development Team at the club. I am 27 years old and hold an SFA advanced children’s licence and I am also a UEFA A licence candidate. I have been coaching for 13 years working with a variety of clubs in Scotland and the USA. Every time I go on the pitch is a coaching experience as we are always learning about new techniques on how to improve our players. I have worked in both mens and womens football and implement the same standards throughout which include hard work, time-keeping and detailed planning in each session.
How would you define a parent(s) role within the youth sports?
This is difficult due to parents wanting to do the best for their children but at the end of the day it’s the child who is the one who is participating. Parents play a key role in supporting their child when something is going well and also when something may not be going to plan. The key is to keep them grounded and work on building their confidence, however when things don’t go well, support is needed for comfort and making sure they are psychologically ready for the next game/practice. Sometimes a parent may be thrown into a difficult situation and the ability to be able to deal with this effectively and with everyone’s best interests at heart may prove difficult so, often a level head and being able to be accommodating and understanding are attributes that a parent needs within youth sports.
What are the benefits of being a positive youth sports parents?
Having a growth mindset is key when it comes to being positive. Failure, I believe, is the only way to succeed not only within a sporting environment but within everyday life. For example, if we won every game or came top of the class in everything and then suddenly, we lose a game, how do we deal with this? As a parent it is equally as important to show your child failure as it is success as being able to deal with both is an important part of growing a more well-rounded mindset. Being able to have an open mind when it comes to being a youth sports parent will allow for a more enjoyable experience not only for you but also your child.
What advice would you give any youth sports parents, with a talented son/daughter and ambition also drive to reach the highest level?
1.Advice to the player
Don’t just be good at something, be brilliant at something! Surround yourself with people on the same mission as you, soak up as much information as you can and don’t be scared to ask questions or go out of your comfort zone.
2. Advice to the parents
Let your child make mistakes and then learn from them! They will then have the confidence to trust in their own ability rather than rely on someone else. Also, have trust in the coaching staff as they will have the ability and knowledge within these areas of sport.
In your experience as a coach, how does negative approaches from the parents, effect the player (short & long term)?
Short term – Going into a training session or a game with a negative attitude can result in the player not being focused on what they are being asked to do. Participating in sport is a fun experience and as a coach it is our job to make sure that every session is positive and enjoyable for every participant.
Long term – Being influenced by negativity from a parent in the long term could have a detrimental impact on the mindset of that person. They may then experience self-doubt and ability which could impact them in the future.
What advice would you give coaches regarding youth sports parents?
Get them involved as much as you can and where relevant. Involve them by introducing them to a code of conduct both at games and training sessions, which is a key area when it comes to player selection and game time. Also, the coach has to be contactable as much as possible, as sometimes a parent can have an issue which is better explained over the phone and not at the end of a training session. It is important to include parents where necessary, but it is equally as important that the coach makes their own decisions.
What advice would you give youth sports parents for the car journey to and from youth sports practices and/or games?
Interact with the players by reflecting on both good areas of the game and also areas that they can improve on. For example, asking questions such as; ‘Can you name 2 good things you did in the game today and one thing you think you can improve on?’ This is sometimes referred to as ‘the sandwich effect’, which is the combination of two positives and one negative, making sure to put more emphasis on the positives rather than the negative areas.
What types of behaviours/mannerisms/comments would you encourage parents to demonstrate? Pre-During and Post training/match.
Maintain a positive body language throughout. If a player or coach spots that you are adopting a negative vibe, this can also have a negative impact on the game. Always keep comments in context, making sure to keep the players grounded to the floor. Show encouragement when someone does something well but also when someone is struggling.
What is next for you as a coach / club / organisation?
I plan to keep working hard, educating myself to the best of my ability and continuing to grow as a coach. Next year I will hopefully have passed my UEFA A licence course and celebrating Glasgow Girls FC’s 10 year anniversary!
You can find more about Laurie on these social media outlets:
Massive thank you, Laurie for taking the time to complete the following interview questions.