In this week’s “Get to Know” article, we will be learning more about Seacoast United Maine South staff member, Katie Chen. Katie will be coaching the clubs 08 Girls Premier White team for the 2018/19 season.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What is your previous experience playing soccer? Coaching?
I grew up in Hamilton, MA and played high school soccer for Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. Growing up I played club soccer with various clubs including Spirit and Fuller Hamlets. I went on to play college soccer at Boston University. I also competed in Javelin and Shot put for the Track and Field team at BU and was a former Javelin record holder for 10 years. I was recently inducted in to my high school's Hall of Fame for soccer and track. My club soccer coaching career truly began with a small club called Grasshopper Futbol Club (GFC) who was later absorbed by New England Futbol Club (NEFC). I coached collectively for them for about 7 years. After I left NEFC I coached for Sidekick Soccer Academy and then Lexington Player Development Academy (LPDA). I hadn't taken a season off of coaching since I started over 13 years ago until I moved up to Portland last August. I took the Fall off and absolutely missed the coaching. I reached out to Andrew and here I am!
What made you decide to want to start coaching?
I started coaching with a local town team and small clubs after I finished my master’s degree. I took a few coaching courses and found that it was a great way to stay connected to the game. I learned a lot more about the game through coaching than I ever did as a player and learned how to really appreciate all the nuances of the game and the different styles. As a player, I was very consumed with my performance and playing a certain style rather than truly understanding the big picture. I also feel that young female athletes can benefit from having a female coach.
What attracted you to Seacoast United Maine?
When I moved up to Portland, I checked around to see what the local clubs were. Seacoast has a great reputation and club culture that I wanted to be a part of and hopefully help make an impact on the soccer community.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
The most influential person in my coaching career would have to be the DOC at GFC, Tom Mitch. He was a no-nonsense type of guy, and in youth sports you really have to be sometimes. He taught me a lot about technical coaching, attitude, and professionalism.
What’s been your best memory while being involved in coaching soccer?
Some of my best memories are just watching the kids grow up year after year. Seeing kids who I coached in Academy programs when they were 7 or 8 and watching them grow to be elite players. It's amazing to watch the growth, dedication, and hard work that the kids put in to the sport.
Which current or former professional athlete did you admire the most growing up and why?
Growing up I admired the entire Women's National Team, especially of course Mia Hamm. It was incredible to have female athlete role models who were amazing to watch and were successful.
Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
Recently in my spare time I've been watching a lot of Netflix, but now that Spring is here, I'll be outdoors biking, hiking, and kayaking. I also love spending time with my nephews.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite food – Pepperoni/ Pineapple pizza
Favorite genre of music – Pop
Favorite place to visit – Bermuda
Favorite Premier League team – Chelsea!
2018/2019 Premier League Winner – Man City :(