By Andy Shane
When I first met with Brent Coralli, I didn’t know what he was about or what to expect. My kids play soccer, but certainly wasn’t a fan of the sport, hadn’t heard anything about Sting Soccer and didn’t quite understand the passion surrounding the sport.
The thing is (there is always a thing), Brent Coralli isn’t about soccer. Sure, as CEO of Sting Soccer, Brent represents Sting – – the oldest, and arguably, the most decorated girls club soccer group in the United States. However, Brent Coralli is less about X’s and O’s on the field and more about showing young girls that it is okay to take care of themselves, to be confident and leaders off the field.
And that is something I both understand and am passionate about.
My “assignment” was/is to promote Brent Coralli and Sting Soccer. When we first spoke, he told me one of the main reasons he got involved with Sting is to encourage young girls to believe in and love themselves and; that it’s okay to be strong and not have to rely on men.
As the father of two daughters (and a son) it was important that his daughters’ embrace that they can do anything they want to if they set their mind to it. At Sting, they believe in ‘The Education of Life Through Soccer’ and teach their girls the importance of Pride, Tradition, Character, Commitment and Leadership. These attributes can be seen on and off the field.
Sting girls have a rigorous schedule – – whether it is practicing two to three times a week, traveling to games throughout the country, keeping up their grades and participating in community service – – they are still netting real results. This year alone, Sting girls received scholarships – – many of them full-rides – – to colleges like Notre Dame, Kentucky, A&M and many, many others.
I recently pitched the “Bossy Girls” idea to media here in Dallas. For those uninitiated – – earlier this year, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, grabbed headlines with her ‘Ban Boss’ Campaign. According to Sandberg: When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.
The campaign generated positive interest and – as so often happens when national attention is given to a particular topic – its share of detractors.
The local Dallas CBS-TV affiliate bit, and KTVT-TV – aired a story in which they spoke with Brent. His feelings made sense to me – – “We don’t have time for name calling or labels. Honestly, we really don’t put much thought to it. I’m very proud and humbled to say our girls do the right thing on and off the field and have the confidence and self-awareness within themselves to embrace and love who they are – – we know we cannot control what others say or do toward us,” Brent said (now this didn’t make it on air, but that is a story for another day).
If you still doubt or question the method behind Brent Coralli’s madness, check out Brent Coralli’s Sting Soccer Highlight Reel. It’s long so start at the 11:22 mark – Sting Lifers – and tell me Brent isn’t making a huge, positive impact on the lives of many young girls.
For me, Brent Coralli is an MVP to hundreds of young women. Every day, he shoots and scores.
16 thoughts on “Brent Coralli’s Goal Scores With Me”
Andy, this is very insightful! I think the true measure of success is the legacy we leave OVER time. This blog reinforces that.
Girls definitely need to learn about confidence and leadership… those are skills that will serve them well as they progress through school as well as in the work force.
This is a great story Andy. It’s nice to see men (as well as women) take a proactive stance in inspiring girls to be the best they can be and strive to be leaders.
Great role model and mentor!
My daughter’s only 7, but she already has some of the ‘bossy’ characteristics ~ and we LOVE it! Thanks to Brent Coralli and his entire organization for encouraging real leadership in young women on and off the field. We need these aspiring leaders to understand that nothing should hold them back!
Terrific blog. I like the tone; it invites a response. Very inspiring.
Great article – Brent’s efforts are to be commended! My daughter was involved with Girls on the Run for a few years, which has similar goals beyond athletics – positive self-esteem and confidence for young women. Wish there were more programs like this.
While it can sometimes be tough trying to parent a ‘bossy’ 11 year old girl, I wouldn’t want it any other way! Kudos to Brent for empowering the girls to become strong leaders!
Love this article! So happy to hear that there are men out there who are sensitive to how young women are being raised in this country.
I have two daughters who play soccer every weekend. They will not play soccer in High School, College or the Olympics (shocking, yes?) But they love playing.They love their teammates and appreciate (I hope) the skills they are learning – through athletics and team building. It’s people like Brent who inspire our girls. Nicely done.
Great blog Andy. Through my own experience as a soccer player, I know that select soccer organizations such as Sting teaches more than just soccer. They teach skills for living. They teach the girls strong values that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Most of the women I still play with (ages 18-50) are exceptional, strong, professionals, mothers, partners, teammates, and friends. I applaud Brent Coralli and the impact that he and his coaches are making on young girls to make them outstanding women. Thanks for writing!
Good read. glad you’re still writing. I think the “bossy” thing has many faces. My memories don’t necessarily match up with what I hear from others. And in my experience, bossy sometimes translated into the whole “mean” girl act. So I agree with Brent, let’s look beyond the labels and support leadership and confidence. I look forward to the next installment about Sting.
Brent Coralli is an interesting guy and you’re a good writer. Hat tip to both of you.
Creative, timely pitch angle. Similar to the call for more female coaches on collegiate sports teams, I’d like to hear more about how junior sports programs are recruiting female coaches. I applaud the initiative to communication good values within youth organizations, but the best way to show girls how to lead is to give them strong female role models.
Team sports are a great way for kids to learn about leadership and life. It’s true that certain types of communications are interpreted differently when delivered by a male vs. a female and the term “bossy” can have a negative connotation. Thanks to Brent Coralli and the Sting Soccer team for addressing the issue in a positive way.