EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) – While the focus of sports tends to be on the players on the field, those on the sidelines making the calls play a crucial role as well. Which is why Sue Vodicka, UTRGV Women’s Soccer Assistant Coach works to make sure there is representation where athletes need it most – in the coaching positions calling the shots.
“If you can’t see ’em, you can’t be ’em,” commented Vodicka on the representation of women in the coaching industry.
She is dedicated much of her time off of the soccer field to helping mentor women who aspire to break into the coaching industry. “It’s hard to get into a career if you don’t believe it’s a possible career if you don’t see people out there doing it.”
From working with women’s advocacy groups for the U.S. Soccer Federation to coaching youth at a local select soccer club, she hopes her presence makes a difference.
“I want those nine, 10, 11-year-old girls to see that you know what, you can still be in the game of soccer your whole life, you can give back to the community,” said Vodicka.
She also works to create a path for her own student athletes at UTRGV.
“Here at my local club, I’ve helped hook up three of our players who are interested in coaching, helping them get a team, helping them get some equipment so they can run practice, going over the things that they can do.”
Her passion for mentoring is rooted in her own experience breaking into the field.
“The biggest thing is I never got opportunities. I was always limited, put in the youngest age group, I wasn’t given the most responsibility,” said Vodicka. “I hear these comments more than ever, well he just out-coached you. Oh, he did? Ok, he did. Well, how about when I beat him last year? Oh, that’s because you had better players. Just a lot of little subtle ways, you have to fight through it.”
She will continue to fight to better the environment for women breaking into the male-dominated coaching industry, so those after her don’t have to.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to help women get involved in the game of soccer, I’d like to see more of us out there.”