In this week’s “Get to Know” article, we will be learning more about Seacoast United Maine South staff member, Amanda Hamilton. Amanda will be coaching the clubs 03 Premier White team for the 2018/19 season.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Upstate NY and grew up adventuring in the Adirondack Mountains. I have three siblings and am a proud aunt of two beautiful nieces and a newborn nephew. 9/10 I am listening to music and 10/10 I am singing the last song I heard. Oh, and the soccer world knows me best as "Hammy.
What is your previous experience playing soccer? Coaching?
I played town travel soccer for 6 years before I began my club career at 11 years old. The first club I played for was Soccer United Premier, and moved on to Plattsburgh Football Club when I turned 15. I played four years of DIII soccer as a Saint at St. Lawrence University, and enjoy heading back down to Canton, NY each spring for the alumni game. My first experience coaching was as a camp counselor when I was 16 and after that I filled my summers with different camp opportunities. I spent the summer of my junior and senior years at SLU in Canton coaching on the girls side for a local club called FC Freeze and came straight to Bates shortly after graduation!
What made you decide to want to start coaching?
I think a part of me always knew that I would be working in athletics, but I hadn't always envisioned it as a coach.
What attracted you to Seacoast United Maine?
I had been looking for an opportunity to get involved with Maine soccer outside of Bates and had heard good things about Seacoast from several people. When I spoke with Jim Wade about the organization, it was clear that Seacoast was truly dedicated and passionate about the development of young players. This made it easy to jump on board.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
I was blessed to have been mentored by several incredible coaches and teachers growing up. Though there were many who positively impacted my life, my high school varsity and first club coach, Keith Raines, was the individual who had the strongest influence on the career path I chose. Keith invested in me not only as a player, but as a person. His genuine compassion for his players and unrelenting commitment to our success on and off the field was like no other. Years later, he and I are still in contact and I consider him more of a close friend and father-figure than a coach. Still, I'll probably never be able to get over the brutal fitness tests he put us through in high school...
What’s been your best memory while being involved in coaching soccer?
This past spring/summer, the '07 girls group I worked with had a tough start to the season on the scoreboard, but they were determined to progress as individuals and a team. By the time the Coastal Challenge came around, the girls were cruising and they went 3-1 on the day. Nothing was more rewarding than seeing this group grow together and end the season on a high note!
Which current or former professional athlete did you admire the most growing up and why?
I was and always will be a huge fan of Abby Wambach. Though she wasn't the most technical player during her career, she knew her role and got the job done on the pitch. I was always in awe of her resilience throughout adversity and passion for her team and those who supported her. More than anything, I am inspired by her upfront nature and honesty about her struggles and weaknesses along her journey as a top performing athlete. She changed the face of what it meant to be seen as a respected, professional athlete and not just a 'female' athlete.
Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
I am an avid hiker in the spring and summer and genuinely enjoy everything and anything that has to do with nature. Admittedly, I'll watch almost any sports event if ESPN is on. When I'm not coaching on Sundays, my time is spent at EastPoint with my church crew. Reading is always something I've enjoyed, but I'll never turn down a Disney movie (I spend a lot of time with my four-year-old niece). As of recently, I have been attempting to teach myself how to play guitar - it sounds less than heavenly right now...
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite food – Any and all fruit
Favorite genre of music – RnB
Favorite place to visit – The Adirondacks
Favorite Premier League team – Manchester United
2018/2019 Premier League Winner – Liverpool (it pains me to say that…)