Soldiers To Sidelines Soldier Coach of the Month June 2024 is Awarded to Marty Golightly

Coach Marty Golightly is a U.S. Navy retired Chief Petty Officer who has committed his life to the development of others.  Marty’s passion is soccer, and for over 20 years he has been actively coaching in one way or another. However, his deeper passion is creating better happier people through soccer. Coach Golightly is relentless in his pursuit of coaching mastery, and he is constantly working with other Soldier Coaches in the STS community.  For all these reasons we are humbled to honor Marty Golightly as Soldier Coach of the Month.

Marty is currently the Head Coach for Massasoit Community College Women’s Team, Mass City Football Club Boys U17 and Girls U14, and Abington High School Varsity Assistant. Additionally, he serves as the Goalkeeping Academy Director for Mass City Football Club. He aspires to become a college soccer coach at a 4-year program or eventually coach in the MLS.  Learn more about Coach Golightly’s journey in coaching mastery in the interview below.

STS: Tell your story about how and why you go into coaching. Discuss how coaching has impacted you as a person.

Coach Golightly: My journey into coaching began with a desire to help others reach their full potential. I find immense satisfaction in listening to athletes’ challenges and helping them find solutions. This natural inclination towards guiding others led me to explore coaching more formally.

I initially pursued coaching as a way to complement my professional skills. My background in in the military provided a solid foundation, but I felt that coaching would allow me to make a more direct and personal impact on individuals’ lives. I enrolled in several coaching certification programs to hone my skills, learning various methodologies and techniques.

As I moved deeper into the world of coaching, I discovered that it was not just about providing guidance, but also about fostering a growth mindset and empowering athletes to discover their own strengths and capabilities. This realization was transformative for me. I learned the importance of active listening, empathy, and asking powerful questions that provoke insight and self-reflection.

Coaching has profoundly impacted me as a person. It has taught me the value of patience and the power of presence. Being fully present with someone, giving them your undivided attention, and truly listening to their words and emotions is a rare and precious gift. It has made me more aware of my own biases and assumptions, encouraging me to approach each interaction with an open mind and a genuine curiosity.

Coaching has reinforced the belief that growth is a continuous process. It has inspired me to continually seek self-improvement and to embrace challenges as opportunities for learning. The relationships I’ve built through coaching have been incredibly rewarding, and witnessing athletes achieve their goals has brought me immense joy and fulfillment.

STS: How has your military experience influenced you as a coach?

Coach Golightly: Military service teaches valuable lessons in leadership and teamwork. I’ve learned how to inspire and lead individuals, as well as how to work collaboratively towards common goals. These skills are crucial in coaching, where fostering a supportive and collaborative relationship with athletes is essential for their success. Military service exposes you to a diverse range of people and situations, fostering a deep sense of empathy and understanding. This has made me more attuned to the unique challenges and perspectives of each athlete. I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental space where athletes feel heard and supported. A core value of military service is a commitment to serving others. This ethos has carried over into my coaching practice, where my primary goal is to help athletes achieve their fullest potential. I am dedicated to their growth and well-being, viewing their successes as my own.

STS: How has Soldiers To Sidelines impacted your life?

Coach Golightly: It has given me a community of like-minded individuals who have similar experiences and goals. I am continually inspired by my fellow soldier coach’s commitment to making better athletes and people.