U.S. Soccer Foundation- National Training
I recently attended my 4th Soccer for Success National Training in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the training is to prepare the participants to recreate the training for coach-mentors in their own local communities. The expectation after the National Training is that the participants train coaches back in their own communities to be both a coach and mentor to athletes in the Soccer for Success program. In order to coach for the program, all coaches must take this local training once a year. With that being said, this is no ordinary training filled with lectures and being talked at. This training provides its attendees with purpose, motivation, and skills to bring back to their communities.
The training lasts four days and each day the participants are given a little more responsibility. It creates a safe space to learn and grow before having to take the lead role. By the end the attendees (myself included) are eager to take their new found knowledge, soccer skills, and facilitation tactics back to their local communities to continue to grow the program. The best part about this training is that you realize you are no longer a single individual on a soccer field. Instead, you realize that you are part of a nationwide movement to provide mentorship, physical activity, nutrition, and safe places for our youth to play and grow. At this training you connect with people from across the nation all with the same goal in common.
Being a coach for Soccer for Success can be very rewarding, but also has its challenges. Attending this training reignites the fire under its attendees to want to be better for the underserved communities they work in. It refocuses our mission while providing beneficial ways to improve our coaching and facilitation abilities. Every year that I attend, I am impressed with how much each person that attends wants to make a difference. Without this training there is no Soccer for Success program. Without the program thousands of children in underserved communities around the country would be without mentors to model appropriate behavior, safe places to play, and the feeling of being part of a team. When I first accepted my role as a coach mentor, I never thought that it would change my life as much as it has. The feeling this program gives you is indescribable and it all starts with the National Soccer for Success training in Washington D.C.
Coach Mentor – Buffalo, NY