Elly Wolfe ’22 engages and inspires local youth soccer players at Walla Walla United Soccer Club in Walla Walla, WA

Hey there! It’s Elly Wolfe: your local Walla Walla United Soccer Club Intern for the summer! As a sophomore Economics major and member of the women’s soccer team, many of the duties I have been tasked with for my internship are right up my alley! One of the biggest projects I am in charge of this summer is revising, editing, and rewriting the club’s bylaws. Although the club had existing bylaws, many sections of it were outdated and had not been updated since the club was formed. Some of the revisions included the addition of a section that details each position currently existing within the Board of Directors, instating a disciplinary policy for players, coaches, Board Members, and parents, and adding a new section covering what certifications coaches must have in order to coach for the club. When I finished revising the bylaws, I presented them to the Board of Directors at the club’s June Board Meeting, where the revisions and additions were discussed and voted on. I am excited to announce that all 12 sections of revisions were passed at the Board Meeting!

In addition to working on the club’s bylaws, I am in charge of the club’s goalkeeper training sessions for the duration of the summer. I go about coaching these sessions by spending time each week writing up lesson plans and taking them to one of my supervisors and assistant goalkeeper coach, Mike Washington. Mike and I sit down and discuss what the goal of each session is, what the youth goalkeepers should take away, and how to ensure the participants have fun. I hold four sessions each week; I train the younger players in the club (ages 6-11) for one hour, twice a week and the older players (ages 12-17) also for one hour, twice a week. I have already begun to see development in players as they learn new techniques and tactics for playing goalkeeper. This is my favorite part of my internship because playing goalkeeper is something I am passionate about. I have been doing it since I was nine years old and I immediately fell in love with it because I had an amazing coach who inspired me. I am hoping I can be that inspirational coach and spark an excitement for playing goalkeeper in some of the youth players I am training!

The last three components of my internship that I would like to highlight are the week-long youth camp I am directing, the coaching course I will be attending, and the future partnership I am working to create between Whitman Athletics and Walla Walla United Soccer Club. I have been tasked with organizing, scheduling, and directing a camp that the club will put on for its members. It will run for a week in late July. This camp ties into the connection I am hoping to build between Whitman Athletics and Walla Walla United Soccer Club as the camp will be coached primarily by athletes on the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Whitman. These college players will give the youth athletes positive role models to look up to. Hopefully the positivity the college players bring to the camp will excite the youth players and their families when we try to build a stronger partnership moving into the fall. Lastly, I will be attending a coaching course in late June that is run by U.S. Soccer. By attending this coaching course, I will earn my U.S. Soccer Grassroots Coaching License, or the equivalent to an “F” Coaching License.

All in all, I would say this summer is going great! I am doing work for an organization that I care about. The Board Members have welcomed me and given me great responsibility and I am doing enjoyable work! I am so happy to be staying in Walla Walla for the summer and working for such an amazing organization!

Experiences like Elly Wolfe’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez

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