Space Coast United’s Sascha Thein has been named the 2022 Florida Youth Soccer Association’s Boys Recreational Coach of the Year.
Thein, who says she has been with SCU “going on nine years” will be recognized at an FYSA luncheon in Orlando on Aug. 6.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for doing something that you enjoy doing,” Thein said. “I think anyone who volunteers their time does it from a good spot in their heart. They’re not looking for any type of awards or anything of that nature but it is nice to be recognized.”
Thein coached the Boys U10 Rec team, where she was with her 9-year-old son Hayden, and the Boys U14 Rec team, where she was with her 13-year-old son Christian.
She also has a third son, 11-year-old Patrick, who plays rec soccer with SCU as well.
Thein stated that the variance of coaching experience she’s had in her time with SCU has offered her unique opportunities.
“It is a lot of fun. It changes with the age groups. Like when they’re U6s, you have to realize they have a short attention span and you have to keep it very playful,” Thein said. “As they get older, to the U14 high school age, you’re managing not just their soccer development but there’s a lot of independence coming out in wanting to assert themselves and as a coach, you get that special relationship with the players where you’re not their parent, you’re not their peer but they’re trying to be more adult-wise and so it’s a special thing to be a coach. You can really leave a positive imprint on these kids really at every age group.”
Thein, who said she expects to coach at least two teams in the upcoming season, also discussed how she likes to keep things light as a coach.
“The important thing is to keep things fun for the kids,” Thein said. “I think that’s the important thing. Keeping the kids at the center of why you’re out there and keeping it fun so that they want to come back. That’s always a good tip.”
She also added that her success as a coach was aided by the fact that she was provided with a host of resources through SCU.
“There’s a curriculum to follow so even if you don’t know soccer, starting out, there’s a pretty easy step-by-step that you can follow,” Thein said. “There’s a lot of trainers that can go around to help set up the fields and support parents if they don’t know exactly the mechanics or how to run a practice. There’s online things through U.S. Soccer, free courses, grass roots courses so I find that things are pretty accessible if you’re interested in learning more.”
In all, Thein just seems to flat out enjoying volunteering with the club.
“There’s a place for everyone there so it really is a nice spot to get a really well-rounded soccer experience at all levels,” Thein added. “It’s a responsibility but it’s a great honor to be part of the kids’ lives like that.”