Monday, October 18, 2021
As if her plate was not full enough as a full-time nurse and still part-time student, Megan Oliver has returned to the pitch as a coach for the Spokane Sounders, continuing to utilize lessons learned from her father Mike Oliver.
Though her chosen path is uniquely hers, Megan Oliver has used lessons from her father, a longtime coach in the club, to move along it.
A standout player in high school [a student at Valley Christian and player for University] that placed first in regionals and also second for club at nationals as a junior, one of those key moments arose as she was preparing for collegiate soccer. A serious injury derailed the playing side of her plan.
“My senior year in high school, I was being recruited and applying to play college soccer at many different universities, however, I tore my ACL. I was no longer able to be recruited on a sports scholarship, so I relied on my GPA to pay for my college. I did play on GCU’s college club team to be able to try out as a walk-on for the D1 team, but ended up having two more ACL tears.
“My dad always pushed that grades were more important because what happens if you get hurt and have nothing to fall back on? Well it’s a good thing he did! My academics are what paid for my college and I am thankful everyday for that because if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my degree and do what I love!”
And it is certainly a passion for the 2018 graduate from Grand Canyon University.
“I have been a nurse on the orthopedic/trauma unit for about two-and-a-half years and am now currently transitioning to the ICU.
“In high school I always loved caring for injuries and actually originally thought I wanted to be an athletic trainer or physical therapist.
“I love science and the human body and nursing gives me the ability to be a loving caregiver while also caring for some of the most medically complex patients there are, challenging me academically. Nursing in the pandemic has been extremely hard and stressful, but I love nursing and being able to care for those who need it most and wouldn’t change it for the world!”
Including her own family as it turns out with her sister Janis recently having her senior season also cut short due to injury.
And she continues to learn as well with her coming up on completing her Masters of Science in Nursing Education.
But as happy as she is nursing… the pitch kept calling apparently.
“I enjoy being able to teach others – hint to my Masters in Education – and as a long time player, I missed the sport altogether and being a coach gives me the ability to get back on the field and do something I love.
“I enjoy being able to help kids find their love of the game and enjoy seeing the progress that they make as players and individuals. Even with a busy schedule and being in school I can always make time for soccer.”
“I thoroughly enjoy seeing the smile on the girls’ faces when they learn a new skill or different concepts of the game begin to click in their head. Although it can be stressful, I enjoy working with the younger girls and helping them develop their love for the game and teaching them what it means to be a great teammate and player.”
And as a new coach, who could she possibly turn to for advice… well her father of course.
“My dad taught me that hard work is key. No matter if it’s sports, school, or work, putting in the work with a positive attitude can help you accomplish whatever you put your mind to. In coaching, he’s taught me that coaches have the ability to make a difference in the kids’ lives and be a role model, so it’s important that both of those are positive.”