In the second installment in our "Youth Coaches" series, the spotlight is shining on Mini Coach Layla Fadhil. With her mega-watt smile and her positive attitude, it's no surprise her Mini's find her enthusiasm infectious.....
Hockey is the great Canadian pastime and Storm Mini Coach Layla Fadhil is well acquainted with it. Watching games with her dad, constantly playing street hockey with her brother, it would be fair to say that she grew up in a "hockey family". However, when she needed to fulfill a volunteer requirement as part of her school curriculum this past spring, her thoughts turned to soccer. Layla was introduced to Storm by a friend, connected with Coach Mark Harper at the Spring Mini sessions and she has now carved out time in her world for coaching "The Beautiful Game".
"My coaching journey started when I needed volunteer hours for my school," said Layla, "but after the spring Mini session was over, I continued to coach for the enjoyment". New to the world of coaching, Layla successfully completed her Making Ethical Decisions (MED) workshop and has been gaining "real world" experience since April under the mentorship of Coach Mark Harper. Starting with indoor sessions in the gym and now working with our Storm Minis at our home field of Eric Graves, Layla says she is really enjoying her interactions with her young charges.
"Knowing that I am helping young soccer players improve their game is something I really enjoy." Layla continued, "Hopefully I am making it fun for the kids!" Even in the short time she has been coaching, Layla says she is already building on her own skill set. "I'm learning that if I can make something more enjoyable, the players will listen and want to do more, want to play more." It's clear from the smiles and sound of laughter on the pitch when Layla is around that the players are responding to her coaching style. "You have to come into coaching with a positive attitude, because the players feed off of your emotions and moods."
Layla sees herself continuing her coaching journey in the next winter season. Each time she steps on the field, she is gaining valuble insight into what makes a good coach. Watching and learning from our more senior coaches, Layla says, "The coaches have taught me important skill building drills and some that are just for fun."
Coach Layla can be found at our home field Tuesday's and Thursday's for our mini practice. Having trouble locating her? Simply listen for the exclamations of delight from our players as she leads them through a rousing game of "Sharks vs Shrimps"! We are hopeful that in addition to cheering on her beloved trio of hockey teams (Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple leafs and New Jersey Devils), Coach Layla will be a supporter of Storm for years to come.
Thanks Coach Layla!