Winter 2015 Vol. 2 - Karl O'Neill

Karl O'Neill is a coach of 2 of our teams: G11 Fire White and G12 Flames White . He frequently runs small group sessions at Maximum Sports.

Featured Coach - Karl O'Neill

How did you get involved coaching girls youth soccer?

I got involved in coaching girls soccer in 2002. My own coach had asked me to help him with a session for his daughter’s team back in England which I have to admit, I wasn't too keen on at the time. But after completing the session it amazed me how much these girls wanted to learn, improve, listen and wanted to succeed. I also saw it as somewhat of a challenge and the fact that I love a challenge motivated me to get involved in the girls side of the game. And that's how I became involved in girls youth soccer!

What advice can you give to help Crush players elevate  their game?

What advice can I give to our Crush players to elevate their game?? Ummm I would have to say remain focused and always aim to improve even if you think you're the best, you can always be better. Don't think you’re above and beyond anyone else, because I can guarantee you’re not! If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. For me though, the best bit of advice apart from the basics of always practice and work hard is this... For every girl who wears that NJ Crush FC jersey, she always has a million and one things going on. Worrying about homework, home life, social life and stuff non-soccer related. But for those 2 hours you are on the soccer field at practice or the time you’re at a game, for that short time, that's your time.  Nothing else matters. It's the perfect opportunity for you to forget about everything and have some fun. Oh! and don't give your parents a hard time because never forget -- without them, you will not be able to go to practice or  games to improve!

What is the most rewarding part about coaching for you?

The most rewarding thing about coaching for me Is a smile and seeing a team bond. Every coach can say it's getting that first win or bringing home that first trophy, but for me it's not about winning, it's about improving and developing my group of players to become a team. There is nothing more rewarding for me than seeing a group of girls who want to be out on that field together and not just for themselves. It's the greatest feeling in the world for me as a coach.

What are some of your most  memorable moments over the past few seasons?

I have to say over the past few seasons I have had many memorable moments, but the one that stands out, has to be at the most recent tournament seeing my U12 Flames White squad playing in the same flight as our U12 elite squad (congrats to them for winning it). Being able to play some very good, high-level teams and compete to the point that we went unbeaten is a proud moment that I won't forget in a hurry. Over the past few seasons, this group of players have formed a togetherness like no other. They are a family. This will remain in the memory for some time to come.
Another memorable moment from the past few seasons was taking over our U11 Fire White team and leading them to their first-ever final. Even though we didn't win the final, the smiles on the girls faces is something I will always remember.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not coaching soccer?

What I like to do for fun when I am not playing the part of being a coach, is playing my role as a dad to my 4-year-old son. He keeps me on my toes! In our line of work we don't get to see our family that much, so when I am away from the field my son gets all of my attention. So what we do for fun is go the park or the puppy store to watch the puppies or dig for worms! haha... Pretty much anything my son wants to do is what I do for fun outside of coaching.