We interviewed Campbelltown Quake’s Head Coach for Girls U17 and Open Women , Mel Keith, and asked about her experiences in football. Her answers during our conversation are paraphrased in the article below.
Where does your passion for the sport come from?
Mel’s passion for the sport has developed over her own journey playing sport.
She started playing futsal and football at 13 years through school and went on to numerous national tournaments and tours.
Throughout this time playing, she made some of the best memories and had experiences she is grateful for.
“The sport became a happy place for me and had the majority of my focus growing up.”
Mel was also an elite softball player, with dreams of making the Olympic team one day. Sadly, her path didn’t lead to this but she still loves the sport and plays regularly in the football off-season.
What made you want to get involved in coaching?
As Mel got older, she realised how rewarding it was to give back to the sport that had given so much to her, through the next generation of players.
Mel also has the type of personality that likes to lead and help others.
Can you share your journey of how you got into coaching?
Mel started coaching futsal in 2007 as a senior player coaching a junior team at Sydney Magic futsal club (aka Inner West Magic). She found it hard to play and coach for a long time due to the long days.
In 2010, she moved to Campbelltown Quake Futsal club where she coached 15/16 Girls.
During her time at Quake, 2010-present, she has coached every age from 13 Girls up to Open Women’s. She is probably considered more of a women’s coach now. She has also been privileged enough to coach for FNSW at the National Futsal Championships on numerous occasions.
Mel received the highest honour in 2019, being voted Futsal coach of the year by Football NSW.
Mel, previously known as Mel McCauley, married an ex Futsalroo Simon Keith, who also coaches at Eastern Suburbs Hakoah Futsal. A household of great coaching talent and general football banter keep Mel on her toes.
Do you have any challenge/s that come to mind when you have been coaching?
Mel’s biggest challenge when coaching is understanding that there isn’t one set type of player, both mentally and physically.
“To get the best out of your team, you truly need to understand the needs of each individual player in your squad to get the best overall result.”
“A connection with players helps a coach to lift a team to levels beyond tactics and fitness and gives each player worth and belief in what they are trying to achieve.”
If you could speak to female coaches or those aspiring to be a coach what would be your one liner (punch line)?
A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life.
For more information about how you can be involved in coaching or coach education, contact the MFA Community Football Manager at Kevin@macarthurfootball.com.au