(Via ENYYSA) – The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) has announced that Marco Lovell has been selected as Girls Competitive Coach of the Year. Marco will be honored at the ENYYSA Holiday Party on December 17 at Marina del Rey in the Bronx.
Marco coaches the Town of Poughkeepsie Phoenix, a travel team in the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL), as well as the Purple Phoenix, an intramural team. As an Under-15 team, the Phoenix won both the Fall and Spring EHYSL championships, and last spring they won the Girls High School Division 2 championship.
“Marco is an excellent coach and an even better person,” Phoenix assistant coach Martin Shaffer wrote in the nomination letter. “Marco’s success as a coach stems in his belief that youth sports are not only about the game, the winning and losing, but about the friendships that develop and the life lessons you learn playing the game: The value of hard work, the importance of teamwork, always respecting your opponents and committing to something larger than yourself, to your team. Marco does not just preach that philosophy, but he lives it and the players on the Poughkeepsie Phoenix for the last several years have benefited greatly from Marco’s involvement in their lives.”
“He knows that the girls come to the team at various levels of athletic ability and soccer skills, but what he always stresses is that you do your best and develop your skills and abilities from where you start. Marco is an eternal optimist and he encourages our players to find aspects of the game––defending, passing or shooting–– that they need to work on and use practice time to work on their weaknesses and strengthen their soccer skills. He also encourages our players to do the extra work beyond practices and our winter training to improve their soccer skills. In recent years, the Phoenix players worked out together at Northstar, attended the Fordham University soccer camp and some players participated in the Dutch Elite program due to Marco’s encouragement.”
“Marco organized a nutrition night for the team where we all came together for a dinner and a licensed nutritionist, a team parent, talked to the girls about healthy eating habits, and the importance of rest and proper hydration the night before a game. In addition, Marco has groomed some of the girls on his intramural team, who show a strong work ethic and soccer talent, to join the travel team and a few girls have done so successfully.”
“He often starts practice asking how everybody’s week is going, and who has big exams in school. Marco knows that while we have some talented soccer players, they will all be ‘going pro in some other field.’ Some of our players have experienced family issues and severe health issues during their time on the team. When one player had to leave the team for a few months to deal with some health issues, when she was in a hospital in Philadelphia, Marco organized card writing among the players and the cards were all sent to our teammate at the hospital. On a positive note, we have celebrated together when a teammate recently won a sectional title in the pole vault and when another teammate participated in a big regional dance recital. The message is clear–– we are a team and you take care of your teammates in both good and challenging times.”
“Marco’s message is that whether you win or lose, you keep your emotions in check and celebrate appropriately and lose a tough game with grace and good sportsmanship. He has extensive friendships with other coaches, and even some parents, on the teams that we play. At the end of most games, no matter how contentious the game might have been, he always has a friendly chat with the other coaches and even the referees. This shows our players that you play hard, but once the game is over, that we are all part of the larger travel soccer community and you act accordingly.”