Interview with a coach: Dakota Carroll
(Assistant Varsity Soccer coach at Germantown Academy/Assistant Director of Athletics)
Q: What is your coaching position/experience?
My name is Dakota Carroll, I coached the Varsity girls soccer team at The Shipley School for 8 years. Currently, I am the Associate Director of Athletics at Germantown Academy and Varsity Assistant girls soccer coach. I also coached at many local club teams in the area.
Q: How long have you been coaching at he High School level?
This will be my first year at Germantown Academy, but I was the head coach at Shipley for 8 years and coached local club teams in the area for 6 years.
Q: When it comes to either recruiting athletes, or overviewing athletes, what do you look for that is outside of skill in their sport?
For me, I look for student-athletes who are great people with a growth mindset. Coachability is a huge part in player’s success. If they are able to take information they are learning and apply it to their game, they will be succes
sful in their sport. Watching how student-athletes interact with their club coaches is an indicator of how coachable they are.
Q: What do you look for when athletes are coming to the season from a break/Offseason?
At Shipley, we held a lot of offseason workouts and played throughout the winter season together. I look for players to work on fine tuning the details of the game: Getting stronger, working on their agility, maintaining fitness levels, and sharpening their ball technique. I would usually meet with my players after the season to discuss some things they can focus on in the offseason and provide them with opportunities to achieve them.
Q: What qualities do the best athletes have (outside of skill)?
Hard work and dedication. Being a high level athlete you have to put the time in and sometimes that means to sacrifice “normal” teenager things. Putting the time into your offseason training and dedicating your time into your craft. This means: nutrition, sleep, hydration, time management, and keeping your grades up all while working hard with the physical part of being an athlete.
Q: As a coach, what is one thing you wish every athlete knew?
I wish every athlete knew that there are so many amazing resources to take advantage of to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. USE THEM!
Q: What would you recommend ALL Athletes do before going into their next season?
I would recommend all athletes set out SMART goals for themselves and have a meeting with their coach (high school/club/ or both) to discuss these goals. Once they have shared their goals, their coaches can help point them in the direction to achieve these goals and help hold them accountable. Use all of the resources you can to help! Lastly, put the time in and dedicate yourself to your craft!
Q: For athletes that want to play at the next level, what do they need to do in order to succeed at a higher level?
Reaching success at a higher level is hard, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. To play any sport at a high level it, you need to fully commit to it. Every day should be used as an opportunity to reach the next level. This also means rest and recovery and taking care of your body after pushing it hard. Players also need discipline, working on their time management skills, being able to juggle their sport and school, and also take care of their mental well-being.
Q: What is the most important factor for an athlete that is looking to get noticed by a coach at a higher level?
Coaches want to see players who are willing to put the time in and want to learn. What always helped motivate me when I played was the off season is where great players are made my season was the time for me to just play and watch my hard work pay off.
Q: can you add in some specifics about that measurements/fitness requirements you have for athletes coming into pre-season?
For the sport I coach, fitness is a huge component. My job as a coach was to make sure the team was physically and mentally We used two fitness tests during preseason, one being the mile test (under 7 min) and 110’s ( 2 sets of 5- one minute to make it full field and back) We did a lot of agility and injury prevention and also used Wednesdays as rest and recovery days. During the off season, girls would get into the weight room (working on their own personal goals) continue to maintain fitness levels, and work specifically on their offseason focus. We also would play most of the offseason to keep student-athletes playing together. All of our in season and off season training truly paid off, players mind and body were able to handle the wear and tear of the season without any muscular injuries. Without muscular injuries, we were able to maintain our strength as a team and make it far in our playoff season!