Over the past decade, there is no name more synonymous with youth soccer in Hopkinton than Amy Mick. The longtime resident and mother of four is a fixture in town, and she is seemingly everywhere all at once. After twelve years at the helm of Hopkinton Youth Soccer, Mick recently stepped down, but she’s still as busy than ever.
We caught up with Amy and asked her to reflect on her time with HYSA, her proudest moments, and how she manages to do it all.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to say that in my time in Hopkinton, I’ve not met anyone more dedicated to youth sports than you. For years I’ve seen you at meetings, on the sidelines as a spectator, and across the field as a coach. I am amazed at how much you’ve given to the sports programs in Hopkinton, and yet you’re a mother of four and you work. How do you do it all? Well, you’re very nice.
How did you end up in Hopkinton? I was born in Boston – actually, at the same hospital all of my children were born. I went to high school in Dedham at the Noble and Greenough school. I attended Notre Dame, and after brief stints in Chicago and Dallas I moved back home, to Framingham. Later my parents moved to Ashland, and so we moved to be closer to them.
I understand you were a standout defender at Nobles. We had a lot of good people on that team.
And you lived at Nobles, correct? Yes, during my sophomore year I boarded there during the week. I started doing it out of convenience. We lived an hour away, and I played three sports, so I was getting home late each night. But my mom was really involved in the school, so she was there 2-3 times a week and my parents were always at my games, so I didn’t feel like I was missing them.
What did you study after high school? I was a pre-med student at Notre Dame. I loved medicine, and I still do, but I didn’t want to commit to another 8 years of school. So after college I went into pharmaceutical sales. It was great, because I got to talk with doctors all the time. But that industry began to change rapidly, and I left my job two weeks after I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son, Boden. And then a few years later, when Boden was two, I wanted to get back to work. I found a job with a financial planning firm in Holliston and started as their admin. Over the years I continued my education and I am now a Paraplanner with Meridian Financial Advisors.
Let’s do a rundown of all the programs you’ve been involved with over the years. Well, I’ve been a youth soccer coach, starting in 2009. I coached both boys and girls lacrosse and boys and girls basketball and the youth level. I volunteered with the PTA for years, and I still do. I was the Vice President of the Center School PTA. I volunteered in various roles with the PTA at Center, Elmwood, Hopkins, and the Middle School. I started as a Buyer with the Booster Club about eleven years ago. Then I was the treasurer for a while, and then I became President. With Hopkinton Youth Soccer, I started off running the programs for the pre-school and kindergartners, and then I was President for twelve years. I am the current JV girls soccer and girls lacrosse coaches at the high school.
Thats…a lot. I think it’s because I love youth sports. I had such a positive experience and it was such an important part of my childhood. I love the camaraderie and watching the kids work together. I love having a girl on my team, and then seeing her make varsity the next year…just seeing how excited she is and they grow and progress. I just really enjoy what youth sports does for kids and a community.
You brought the New England Revolution into Hopkinton in the form of the Academy program. Tell me how that came together. Well, one of the challenges in all of youth sports is the business that it has become. There are a lot of clubs out there that are trying to recruit kids, and I’m not opposed to that, but I think there should be other opportunities too. There are kids who like playing lots of different sports and it’s hard to commit the time and money to just one sport when they’re trying to play others. So we were trying to find a way for kids to get professional coaching and still be able to play with their friends in town.
You were also instrumental in bringing the turf fields to the high school. When I took over it was something I really wanted to do. Prior to those fields, the kids weren’t able to practice for much of the season. The season starts in March, and games typically begin in April. The weather would either force them indoors to practice or they couldn’t practice at all. It was a long process and many people came together to build support for this and to gather the votes for an approval at Town Meeting.
I remember that vote. There was a lot of momentum behind it. Yeah, I was nervous that night because the Fruit Street complex failed at Town Meeting twice before being approved. But as the votes started coming in and we knew we had it I was very exited, especially for the kids. And I remember watching Delaney play on the fields for the first time. It was very special.
What is your approach to teaching the game? I just want the kids to be in an environment where they can be happy and succeed and have fun. I try really hard to make it fun because I think there are times when it becomes too much like a job, where they’re not enjoying it anymore and they feel they have to play because they’ve been playing for so long.
I think there are a lot of people who want their kids to play in college. But realistically the percentages are really low of kids who actually go on to play Division One. I think there’s a great opportunity to play as many sports as you can for as long as you can and just have fun doing it.
Who are your mentors? I had a really great high school coach and I’m still in touch with him. I think Tom and Caitlin (varsity coaches) are great. I really like how they focus on developing the whole program, not just on the varsity team. And the athletic directors I’ve worked with have been very helpful in creating learning opportunities. It’s a great environment at the school.
In what ways are you a different person because of your volunteering experience? I think I’m a little more patient and gracious in understanding that everyone is doing the best they can with the information they have. A lot of times people are looking out for their own kids, whereas when you’re volunteering with an organization, you’re in charge of looking for the greater good. I tend to not take things personally.
Why Hopkinton? What makes this town different from other towns? This community really comes together and I love that.
If heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the pearly gates? It’s time to rest. It’s time to take a break, Amy.