Each month, we’ll be getting the inside line on a member of the Seven Elite Academy team. This month - SLC Regional Girls DOC, Shaylee Wilson.
Who inspired you to fall in love with the game?
I have always enjoyed playing the game, but I think I truly fell in love with soccer first from just playing pick up games after school in my front yard with my family and friends. Then after I had graduated at USU and had the opportunity to visit Zanzibar for a summer with Reggie and played with the locals on a nightly basis in a dirt field with a ragged ball. The fun and enjoyment of just playing to play like I was a kid again, reminded me why I have played this game for so long & continue to be a part of it!
Favourite soccer team growing up and why?
Favorite team was the USA Women's National Team – they were the first women’s team to really get recognition and were the one women’s team that had games televised that I could actually watch. They were the first for many things in women’s sports.
Favourite soccer player growing up and why?
Mia Hamm…need I say more? She was the female soccer icon while in my Jr/High school years. She was the ultimate female soccer player!
What was the best moment in your soccer career as coach, player or both?
As a player my best moment was winning the NJCAA National Championship in 2000. As a coach – I can’t think of just one, but mostly the times when I see it click for a player & see the excitement when they have accomplished a goal that they had set for themselves - that is truly rewarding.
Apart from soccer, what other sports do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy watching (or falling asleep) to football, basketball, and most anything that is competitive.
If you can choose any athlete from the past and present to use as an example of greatness to your players, who would it be?
Muhammed Ali - “Don’t count the days; make the days count.”
What was the best advice given to you as a coach?
Best advice I have received was to be humble and to always make decisions based on the values I stand for and want to be remembered for, because at the end of the day I am the one who has to live with myself.
What advice would you give to your future self?
Be more present in the moment and enjoy the ride!
In 10 years’ time, what would you wish to achieve on and off the pitch?
I look forward to seeing the players that I have coached (especially my own kiddos) continuing to play and work towards their goals and then giving back & helping the next generation learn to love the game. Personally I plan to continue to increase my knowledge and learning through working towards my next coaching licenses.
How does it feel to be a part of Seven Elite Academy?
I am grateful and honored to be part of an organization that is committed to developing young players and coaches while upholding high values.
The chance to network and be mentored by exceptional soccer minds has been an amazing journey and I look forward to years of learning, coaching, and enjoying the game we all love!