Owen McBride. Photo credit: SFU Athletics

From player to Coach: Sharing the love for sport

June 19, 2023

by Emily Woo

For many youth athletes, the love for sport has been overshadowed by the extreme pressure to win. Owen McBride, an Indigenous student athlete on SFU’s men’s soccer team identified this issue with youth sports and launched Private Coaching Co., a program dedicated to helping young athletes fall in love with sport.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, McBride is a member of the Lax Kw’alaams Band, located near Prince Rupert. “As I learnt more about my culture and our history, I have become prouder of my heritage, and I strive to be the best person I can be to leave a positive effect on my community and people,” says McBride.

Succeeding through many soccer clubs, including the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency program and Mountain United, where McBride captained for several years, his 17-year soccer journey ultimately led him to SFU, where he has played for the past four years.

At 19 years old, McBride began his entrepreneurial journey with Private Coaching Co. with the mission of helping one million kids love their sport while staying active and healthy. “The love of coaching has always stuck with me,” says the fourth-year Health Sciences major. “Nothing makes me happier than helping young athletes achieve their goals while becoming amazing people in the process.”

Owen McBride. Photo credit: SFU Athletics

Having been in coaching roles since the age of 12, McBride is a natural leader. He credits the team environment he grew up in as the foundation for his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. “Being part of a team my whole life has taught me the importance of communication, empathy, and the drive to success,” says McBride who is also pursuing a Business minor.

McBride says a team of great mentors including his family and friends, and the SFU staff have been a fantastic support system as he navigates being a student athlete and business owner. “As any athlete in a university environment knows, a season can be very demanding on the body and brain, so it is a battle to take care of yourself as the semester progresses,” says McBride, who hopes to continue being a mentor for young athletes as they fall in love with sport.