Saturday, November 10, 2007

Soccer Coaches as Public Speakers

By Andrew Winner

I still remember the first soccer game I covered. I was 19 and I had just been recruited by my friend Sunny to cover the women’s soccer team for the University of Washington student newspaper. Having put exactly zero thought into sports writing as a profession at that point, I nevertheless agreed. (At that age, being asked to hang around female college athletes wasn’t a hard sell.)

I headed down to the University of Washington soccer field with one of the senior reporters, a guy named Amirav. I forget who the Huskies beat that day, but after the final whistle Amirav went to round up some quotes from one of the players and I went to talk to the coach.

This was my first interaction with a real-live coach and I had no idea the decorum that applied to such a meeting, much less the questions I was expected to ask. So I headed over to the Huskies coach, Lesle Gallimore, and bleated out an awkward question.