Alison Foley shares her experience of becoming a parent while being a coach at a D1 school. However, she is far from limiting herself to just those two roles. Foley found that her starting experience as a coach transferred not only to parenting, but to writing, starting a yoga program for soccer players, and a consultancy. Foley is not only a woman who broke the glass ceiling, but shattered it.
In this week’s episode of SPKN Update, Meg and Dr. G interview Alison Foley, former head women’s soccer coach at Boston College, and the winningest coach in the history of the program, with fifteen NCAA tournament appearances. Coach Foley reveals some of the secrets to her successful career and how she helped set a new bar for coaching women in college sports. Meg and Dr. G discuss Coach Foley’s books and the writing process, and what practical experience and knowledge she used in their development. Not only is Coach Foley adept at coaching and writing, but she is also the CEO of Foley Athletic Advising and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Fitness Department at Regis College. Alison has a background in sport psychology and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. Coach Foley offers insight into family life balance in sports, coaching women’s teams, leadership, and team-building strategies, and keeping kids in sports. Meg and Dr. G also ask for Coach Foley’s opinion on the Varsity Blues scandal.
LINKS, RESOURCES, & RESEARCH
Alison Foley’s company, Foley Athletic Advising, lists additional information about her on their website. https://www.foleyathleticadvising.com/
This link leads to Coach Foley’s bio and stats from her time as the head women’s soccer coach at Boston College. https://bceagles.com/sports/womens-so....
Access Coach Foley’s books:
How to Coach Girls https://amzn.to/3qw71cc
The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship https://amzn.to/3evaqWu
Cheers to our friends at the University of Minnesota who lead The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport: https://www.cehd.umn.edu/tuckercenter...
Premiere journal covering topics related to this show is the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal: https://journals.humankinetics.com/vi...
Premiere organization supporting the development of women coaches is We Coach: https://wecoachsports.org/
Take a journey back in time to learn about how tennis great and advocate Billy Jean King helped to found the Women’s Sports Foundation: https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/
TIPS & TOPICS COVERED IN THIS SHOW
Coaching as a woman in sports
Managing coaching and family life balance
Parenting, coaching, and approachability
The importance of family support
Groupwork and teambuilding
The importance of being kind
Environmental factors in athletic abilities
Differences between coaching boys and girls
Language and choosing words wisely
Keeping kids involved in sports
Bonding outside of practice
Alison Foley followed her decades of successful college soccer coaching by putting her expertise to work in a consultancy that offers comprehensive on-field training, skill evaluation, and recruiting counsel.
On the field, Alison works with student-athletes to help them achieve their full athletic potential. Off the field, she works with student-athletes and their parents to create a stress-free roadmap to take the confusion out of the recruiting process and help them get into their dream schools. Join the conversation to benefit from her experience.
AS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW
To read about the former athletic director Gene DeFilippo:
To read more about the US soccer development program:
For an interview with excellent stories from Alison Foley:
Alison’s “Soccer on The Mat” program:
To read Alison Foley’s How to Coach Girls:
To read The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship by Alison Foley:
To read more about the importance of a coach-athlete relationship:
McGlone, H. (2021). Relationship Building Communication Between Female Student-Athletes and Coaching Staff.
Choi, H., Jeong, Y., & Kim, S. K. (2020). The Relationship between Coaching Behavior and Athlete Burnout: Mediating Effects of Communication and the Coach–Athlete Relationship. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(22), 8618.
To learn more about why communication matters with coaches and athletes:
Li, J., Gao, H., & Hu, J. (2021). Satisfaction and the coach–athlete relationship: The mediating role of trust. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 49(2), 1-11.
To read more about sport parents and their relationships with their kids:
Dorsch, T. E., Wright, E., Eckardt, V. C., Elliott, S., Thrower, S. N., & Knight, C. J. (2021). A history of parent involvement in organized youth sport: A scoping review. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
DiSanti, J. S., Snyder, V. A., & Valovich, M. T. (2021). EXPLORING PARENT-ATHLETE DYADS’PERCEPTIONS OF SPORTS SPECIALIZATION AND SPORT EXPERIENCES IN AN EARLY YOUTH COMMUNITY-BASED SPORT PROGRAM. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 9(7_suppl3), 2325967121S00127.
Witt, P. A., & Dangi, T. B. (2018). Helping parents be better youth sport coaches and spectators. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 36(3).
Costa, G. H. (2021). Youth Sport as a Context for Enhanced Social Capital and Family Relations (Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University).
To read about the different behaviors and attributes of male and female athletes:
Trbojević, J., & Petrović, J. (2021). SELF-PERCEPTION OF SPORTING ABILITIES OF FEMALE ATHLETES WHEN COMPARED WITH SAME-SEX AND OPPOSITE-SEX ATHLETES. Facta Universitatis, Series: Physical Education and Sport, 611-619.