U.S. Women?s World Cup coach Jill Ellis on pressure, motherhood, and peacocks (USA)
Five years ago this week, Palmetto Bay resident Jill Ellis was hired as head coach of the U.S. women?s national soccer team. She led the U.S. team to the 2015 World Cup championship, and since then has had to navigate through difficult personnel decisions, Hope Solo drama and media criticism. On June 7, the 2019 World Cup kicks off in France and Ellis? team is favored to defend its title. She spoke to the Herald about what she learned four years ago, how she has changed, and what she expects from her World Cup team.
Q: How have you changed as a coach since the last World Cup?
A: When we went into 2015, we had our way of playing and we were fairly rigid in what we were doing. Now, because our opponents can change so much in terms of formation and structure, we built in more flexibility. You have to keep up with the times because all the teams are evolving.
But in certain areas, I am the same person. The connections with players and making sure my staff is empowered. The human element is still intact because I think that?s really important for a coach and a leader.
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