It’s not uncommon for coaches to apply motivational tactics with their teams. Nauset girls soccer coach Tom Pollert began a new tradition last fall when he and the team started distributing three different postgame awards to players who performed well.
“We started it last year halfway through the season,” Pollert explained. “They have a yellow [cleat] which is for defensive player of the game and the girl who got it last game picks, then we have a golden boot for the offensive player of the game and a belt for the MVP.”
The belt is a plastic gold world championship belt akin to those that wrestlers receive after winning a title fight. The emphasis for the belt at first was to give it to the toughest player each game.
Pollert said that once the team began embracing a physical approach the belt quickly morphed into a reward for the girl that the team thought was either the most valuable player or someone who had a special moment during the game.
After Saturday’s 5-0 victory at Monomoy, the team awarded the belt to Sammy McIsaac, a junior midfielder from Yarmouth who found the back of the net during the second half.
“That was Sammy’s first goal as a varsity player, so that was a very special moment,” Pollert said.
McIsaac said it was “really exciting” to net her first goal at the varsity level, adding that she was happy she could help the team win.
After being honored by her teammates for her accomplishment, McIsaac will now hold onto the belt until the next postgame ceremony.
“It means a lot,” she said of being the belt recipient. “This is a big deal and it means you played the hardest.”
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal