MJ Ball helping local soccer players in longtime coaching career
Ball’s loose and light attitude helps his players love the game
HERMON, Maine (WABI) - MJ Ball’s coaching style has been shaped by a tough high school experience that turned into a great college one.
“When I began my coaching career, I wanted to make sure that each kid felt that they were a part of the program and added value regardless of whether they were a bench player, starter, JV, or Varsity. It didn’t matter,” said Ball.
Ball’s loose and light attitude helps his players love the game.
“He just makes us have a great time. He’s a good coach, and I love his coaching style because he just gets all of us involved,” said Michaela Saulter, senior midfielder.
“He’s always kind of like more funny than serious, so I feel like he doesn’t really scare us. We never feel very pressured. We’re always calm, collected, and have fun with it,” said Allie Cameron, senior midfielder.
The Hermon handshake line has become a tradition.
“That’s a really special moment because we all share a handshake with him,” said Saulter.
“These kids love them. I get messages from former players when I coached collegiately asking how come we didn’t do it back then. We just never even thought about it. We actually had an alumni game here the other day. The girls came back and wanted to test my knowledge and see if I could still remember their handshakes. Most of them I got,” said Ball.
Coach Ball has also shown players how to develop their skills.
“He does a really good job of taking certain practices and focusing on specific stuff to work on. He really breaks down games well and helps us work on things that he sees that we might not,” said Lyndsee Reed, senior forward.
Hermon has been to the State title match four times under Ball. Now, it’s time to bring home the Gold Ball.
“It would mean a lot to finish the season strong,” said Reed.
“We just want to do everything for him and make him happy in the season,” said Cameron.
“That would be amazing because since I was a little girl, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Saulter.
“When you have a team working together towards a common goal, great things happen,” said Ball.
The Hawks’ slogan in 2022: Unfinished Business.
Ball has also coached many of his Hermon players with the River City travel team based in Bangor.
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