WEEK #37: HOLLIE B.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Hollie Babut, proudly known as “Coach Hollie” by many. I am currently the Grassroots Director at Pickering Football Club and a Coach Developer for Canada Soccer. My ‘why’ stems from a blended passion of soccer and working with children (there’s no better feeling than being part of a child’s development, watching them learn and grow with a smile on their face).
Before I found my love for coaching, I spent most of my time on the soccer field. Growing up, I played competitively and eventually went on to play at Ashford University in Iowa on a full ride scholarship. After graduating, I pursued a professional playing career playing in Norway, before settling back at home playing in League1 Ontario where I currently play. I can’t remember a time when soccer wasn’t part of my life, so there is no surprise that it has flourished into a career.
In my coaching role I have the opportunity to work with children of all ages and stages. I love seeing players take their first steps in the sport and watching the progression over the years as they grow into fantastic leaders, players, people, and even coaches! I will always appreciate the relationships built and the positive effect these players have on me.
I continue to strive towards being the best coach I can be to support the development of the players I work with. I believe in making sport accessible and enjoyable for all children, ensuring the first experience is a positive one so that children have the opportunity to gain the valuable skills that the sport has to offer.
I hold a Canada Soccer National B and Children’s License, and the proud recipient of the CAO Grassroots Coach of the Year 2019 and Ontario Soccer Centre Circle Soccer 4 Life Award 2021.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
I am passionate about providing children with an environment that fuels their curiosity, creativity, and confidence. Sport has the power to shape lives and it is our job as coaches, clubs, and program providers to ensure it changes lives for the better. When working with children it must be suitable to the child’s age and stage of development, so we must have an understanding of what children need. I encourage coaches to create an environment where players feel safe to play and learn. I have recently joined Canada Soccer as a Coach Developer on the Children’s License, working with grassroots coaches across the province to enhance the way we coach children, for the benefit of the child!
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
I would love to see more coaches work together to share ideas, provide mentorship and