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Chatham Soccer League

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Apr, 2018

Coach Spotlight: Mike Waudby

Volunteer Coaching Spotlight: Mike Waudby

Mike Waudby is a husband, a father, and a busy small business owner (you can see him behind the counter at Village Pizza, in Chatham Crossing Shopping Center). He also happens to be a volunteer soccer coach with Chatham Soccer League, currently coaching the U12 girls challenge level soccer team, the "Wolverines."

Mike's team really benefits from his coaching philosophy. He teaches in practice, and is the definite leader there. But if you go to one of the Wolverines' matches to cheer them on you will see that in games Mike expects his players to lead, to work together, to demonstrate what they have worked on in prior practices. The players think they are learning soccer, not realizing that Mike is teaching them many more life lessons along the way!

We thought he'd be a great volunteer coach to kick off a new series of spotlights on Chatham Soccer League volunteers. See below the interview to learn more about Mike and why he volunteers with CSL:

How did you get into coaching soccer? How long ago? 

"I got into coaching the same way many people do: helping to coach my child’s team. I discovered two things in doing this: 1)I liked coaching 2) I did not want to coach my own child. Since then I’ve coached both Recreation and Travel level soccer teams with CSL; girls, boys, and both combined."

Why did you say “yes” to coaching? Why do you still do it? 

"I said yes originally because I wanted to help my friend Matt (Porter, another long time volunteer with CSL) coach our kids. Just trying to be helpful. It sort of evolved from there, and it’s turned into one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life. I used to play golf in my spare time. Now I do this!"

In season, how many hours a week do you suppose you devote to it? What is involved? 

"During the season, I spend at least five and sometimes up to twenty hours a week on soccer related things to prepare for the team. It’s not just practice and games, especially at the travel level. My time is also spent on emails, paperwork, and a lot of driving as well."

What is the best part (of coaching)?

"The kids. I laugh a lot."

"I roll my eyes a lot too!" 

What are some of the challenges?

"Adults, be they other coaches, refs, or parents."

Do you have a personal coaching philosophy? What is it in a sentence or two?

"Easy: Winning is not the most important thing; our goal is to improve individually and collectively. If we do this, winning will eventually happen."

What is one thing parents of youth soccer athletes could do better? 

"If you want your child to improve and get better at soccer, two practices a week for four months a year will not do it. Time on the ball outside of practice is critical. You have homework for school, right? Time spent at home, away from formal practices, is essential."

How is the best way you have found to motivate your players to train, improve, progress?

"Competition is key. If players compete with one another in practice, they’ll compete in a match. And they will improve."

What do you see going well with CSL? What are some things it needs to improve / work on?

"CSL has done well in many areas, and it has a strong group of volunteers that keeps things running. The Rec program is particularly strong because of this." 

"One thing CSL needs, especially for the competitive programs, is access to turf fields. We lose too much practice time due to weather."

Do you play soccer? Do you have a favorite player? Team?

"I have played adult soccer on and off for years, and I’m still involved with an adult pick up group that we started a few years ago in Chatham County. I support Arsenal, as well as the US National Teams. My favorite player is, and will always be, my son Burke." (Burke plays club and high school soccer)

As you can see, Mike Waudby has a real passion for soccer, and volunteers so that new generations learn a lifetime love of the game.  If you share that same love of soccer, teaching the game, or helping to ensure the growth and success of a non-profit soccer club in a growing Chatham County, know there is a place for you within Chatham Soccer League!  Contact our Executive Director, Martin Slavin, with questions ( or (919) 205-9977).

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