Friday, October 25, 2019

Tiff Theriault has a love of field hockey to pass on to others

Tiffany Theriault
By Matt Pascarella

Tiffany Theriault has always loved field hockey. She played goalie during her days at Lake Region High School and since then, has wanted to pass her passion for the sport onto others. Theriault has coached field hockey at Windham Middle School and has been the junior varsity coach for the past two years.

“My high school coach had a major impact on who I became as an adult,” Theriault stated. “My hopes in coaching is that I can make a positive impact. I want the girls to develop self-confidence, learn to be resilient in face of adversity and believe in themselves.”

Theriault’s love of the sport is what drew her to coaching, giving her the opportunity to have field hockey in her life again. She really enjoys working with the kids.

cstlouis@spurwink.orgTheriault didn’t realize how much she would love coaching until she did it for a year. The benefits of seeing the athletes grow and learn the sport was an added bonus for her. And when she got the opportunity to come up to the JV level, and meet a whole new group of girls, it was awesome.

Coaching gave her a chance to get out of her comfort zone. What Theriault wasn’t expecting was the player’s eagerness to learn and the connection she would make with the team. They loved the sport as much as she did.

There is a lot of talk about mindset on the junior varsity team. And Theriault wants it to be a positive one. It’s easy to make a mistake and get really down on yourself, for example, ‘I should have gotten that’ or ‘this drill is too hard,’ or ‘I can’t do it.’ She’s worked a lot with the young athletes to change their mentality. ‘This drill may be hard, but it’s giving me good practice;’ ‘I could have gotten that, I’ll get it next time,’ are examples of the simple rephrasing. Her hope is that her players can have a more positive attitude. One of the things Theriault has done to help with this is start a group text with her three goalies where they have to text her one thing their thankful for each day. It created an incredible connection with them and gave her insight into their lives.

The girls are Theriault’s favorite part about being a coach. “We have a great team, both JV and varsity this year, they really are incredible. I love the connection with them, I love being a part of it again. Win or lose...watching them grow throughout the season has been more of a rewarding experience than I ever thought it could be. My hope is coach DiDonato and I are playing some small role in their lives to making them better humans and I want to be a part of that – I want them to be successful. This is what drives me to be a better coach each season.”

A Raymond resident, Theriault grew up in Casco and has five children. She got her bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Southern Maine. “The fact that I get to have my daughters on the team is only icing on the cake. It has been fun to watch them develop friendships, and a positive mindset,” she adds. In her free time, she is working on her master’s in biology. She enjoys skiing with her husband and children, lazy rainy/snow days at home, watching her kids play sports and spending time with her family.

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