Coach education spotlight: Karina Scott finds life lessons in sport

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of an ongoing series that highlights coaches of varying backgrounds and experiences in our sport. Karina Scott, a head coach at FC Tucson, is currently taking a U.S. Soccer ‘C’ course to further her education and development.

Q: What or who inspired you to become a coach?

Seeing how impactful my youth coaches were on my playing career inspired me to give back to the community that has given me so much. It influenced me to become a coach to provide any sort of positive impact I could. I did not have regular exposure to female coaches until college, and I feel having more female influences at the younger ages would be extremely beneficial.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing coaches in youth soccer, and specifically, female coaches?

For female coaches, I believe representation and retention are two vacancies within the youth system. From my perspective acceptance of women in leadership positions has grown exponentially, but it’s still not where it needs to be. Women are often faced with questions and expectations during child-rearing rears that their male counterparts likely do not face. I think that needs to be part of the conversation within organizations to find ways to keep women involved in the game while still promoting their home life, family, or other career goals.

Q: Do you feel that representation, specifically female representation, is important to open doors for other women and female coaches in soccer? If so, why?

I believe representation is vital for increasing coaching opportunities for women. If young boys and girls don’t see women holding these positions then it’s much harder to convince young girls to pursue coaching, and even harder for boys to respect female coaches. It’s been a challenge finding representation of mothers in coaching who maintain long careers in coaching. I’m currently pregnant with my first child and I’m reaching out to coaching mentors, listening to podcasts, and reading whatever I can to have a better idea on how to be a successful mother while trying to be a successful coach. There’s a lot of pressure from society to approach motherhood in a certain regard, and that can have an impact on how coaching organizations incorporate and promote women. I’m very fortunate to have an extremely supportive husband and be involved with a club that values investing in women, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.

Q: What is your proudest coaching moment?

I don’t have one specific proud coaching moment, but I absolutely love running into players I used to coach and hear them verbalize any sort of impact I had on their lives. It reminds me why I continue to pursue coaching. It always comes down to people, interactions, and shared experiences with those around you.

Q: What is the impact you hope to have on players you coach/have coached?

On the field I hope to promote creativity and a love for the game that will last a lifetime. Off the field I hope to foster an attitude of loving your neighbor as yourself and loving yourself in every season of life knowing soccer won’t be your everything. And that it shouldn’t be your everything. As a former collegiate soccer player, Air Force veteran, nurse, soccer coach, and now a soon to be mom I hope to show that the fundamental lessons of failure and success in soccer can be a catalyst to taking on new challenges in any phase of life.


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