Zionsville Head Coach Lisa Vorbroker Is Raising The Bar For Youth League Coaches
Since the Zionsville Monthly team began producing and publishing in Zionsville nearly nine years ago, it has always been our standard to publish stories about issues that matter most to our community and inspiring and/or educational stories about people doing remarkable things that make our community strong and vibrant—especially residents who aren’t seeking publicity but who are genuinely trying to make a difference in the lives of others.
So, when a Zionsville reader contacted me about doing an article on Lisa Vorbroker, a Zionsville resident who is a well-known and highly respected head coach for both the Zionsville Youth Football League (ZYFL) and the Zionsville Lacrosse Club, I was delighted to speak with Vorbroker and share her passion for coaching and for our community with our readers.
A Talented Coach Who Happens to Also Be a Woman
Vorbroker is a lifelong athlete and has lived in Zionsville for 30 years. She is a proud mother of six kids (four boys and two girls) and grandmother to five grandchildren. She played sports all throughout her youth and in high school (Kokomo) and played intramurals in college at Ball State University.
“I continued to play intramurals at Midwest Sports Complex,” Vorbroker shared. “I’ve continued to constantly play sports, and I live, eat, breathe and sleep sports. When my oldest son began going through the football program, Little League and all that stuff, I thought, OK, I love being around the kids, I love sports and coaching, so I’m going to sign up to coach, and I’ve literally been coaching every season, year-round, and I absolutely love it.”
When asked what about coaching Vorbroker loves so much, she replied, “It’s just so much fun, and I love the strategy behind coaching. It’s fun to be with the kids, and if you do it right, and work with every kid, making sure they have a place on the team and find the one thing that would make every kid successful, it makes it so much fun for everybody. I try to work as many kids into [a play] as possible and get as many to touch the ball, and it makes the kids so confident and happy. It doesn’t matter what position they play as long as you find a position for every kid and teach them how to do it.”
Vorbroker stressed that coaches not only teach the fundamentals of a sport, but they also teach important life skills.
“We’re teaching them sportsmanship, camaraderie and teamwork,” Vorbroker said. “I have so much success with my teams, which is really fun for me because they get so much out of it. You remember bad coaches, but you really remember good coaches, and I always try to be that coach. I’m not in it for me. I’m in it for them. Don’t get me wrong—I’m extremely competitive, and I like to win. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.”
When I asked Vorbroker about her reputation for making some “impressive [football] plays that some male coaches wouldn’t know how to call,” she laughed and then humbly replied, “I do a lot of double reverses, fake reverses, double fake reverses and reverse quarterback passes and a bunch of crazy stuff. The boys love it, and it gets different guys involved, and they seem to really enjoy it. I enjoy that part of it. It’s a lot of fun.”
It’s More Than Winning ZYFL Super Bowls and Lacrosse Tournaments
Vorbroker has a remarkable winning record in both football and lacrosse. Her past ZYFL teams have won Super Bowls and her 5th grade team lost by only one point this year.
“My lacrosse team won every single game this past spring season,” Vorbroker shared. “Our team was very competitive, and we beat every school, but like football, I just go from season to season, and I don’t really keep track [of all the wins], but we had a really great lacrosse team this last season, and it was also a lot of fun.”
The Advantages of Coaching the Next Grade Levels
When asked what the advantages are of graduating up grade levels and coaching the next grade of kids, Vorbroker said, “I can implement new ideas and new things into the practice plan or game plan, and it seems to be a little easier because the kids understand more of what you’re trying to do.”
Preparing the older kids for the high school programs is also a major focus for Vorbroker as a head coach for athletic feeder programs.
“We meet with the high school coaches and go over what they expect us to do as a feeder program for the high school program,” Vorbroker explained. “We know their run plays and pass plays, etc., and try to do exactly what the high school coaches want us to do with this program at the youth level so that when the kids get to the high school level, they know what the pass routes and plays are by the time they get there. And the same thing with the Zionsville Lacrosse Club. We teach the fundamentals and basics so that by the time they’re in high school, they know how to pass, work as a team, etc., and they’re good to go.”
A Few Words of Advice to the Next Generation of Aspiring Female Coaches
“Never take ‘no’ for an answer,” Vorbroker expressed. “Go where your passion is because if you’re passionate about something, you can do whatever you want. I never thought I’d get involved in football, but I love it, and I went from one season to the next and here I am. I just absolutely love it, and there’s not a lot of women coaches in lacrosse either. I’ve never coached against another female coach, but the guys that I’ve coached against—whether football or lacrosse—have been extremely supportive and helpful. They have nothing but nice things to say, and it really inspires me to keep going. So, do want you want to do and don’t worry about what anybody else says or thinks.”