A New Season with a Different Look

As we prepare to start our fall 2020 Soccer for Success season, communities continue to suffer from a host of crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout from the spread of the virus, and a public outcry against centuries of systemic racism.

Schools are starting the new school year virtually or through a hybrid approach with limited in-person days and class sizes. Parents are struggling to balance helping their kids with schoolwork and their own work. Many people are without jobs due to the economic crisis caused by the virus.

At the same time, we are becoming more and more aware of how systemic racial injustice exacerbates these daily struggles, amplifying the long-term damage of these problems in communities of color around the country.

At the U.S. Soccer Foundation, we’ve spent the summer listening to our partners so that we can best support their needs and, ultimately, the needs of our communities. What we have heard loud and clear is that it is critical that we continue to adapt and find innovative ways for our partners to run our Soccer for Success program.

That’s because the program provides much needed physical activity opportunities that keep kids active and moving. It incorporates important health and wellness lessons into each session. It provides a space to form social and emotional connections with caring adults and peers. It provides human connection, which is critical to our physical and mental health, at a time when there is so much suffering and hardship.

The bottom line is that Soccer for Success keeps kids healthy in body and mind. In our current reality, this is more important than ever.

So, what changes did we make to ensure that our partners can provide programming without disruption this fall?

We adapted our Soccer for Success curriculum so that partners can run the program across a variety of settings. In lieu of our traditional in-person trainings, we are providing an online training that is specifically designed to prepare coach-mentors to deliver the program across these new settings.

Our partners now have access to a curriculum consisting of:

  • Thirty-six pre-recorded video sessions that can be sent directly to participants and their families to complete at a time that works best for them. The sessions are around 15-20 minutes in length, can be done at home with little space and equipment, and incorporate health and wellness tips and information.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 45-minute virtual sessions (in real time) with their participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 60-minute, in-person socially distanced sessions with participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six traditional in-person practice and game day sessions.

This approach gives our partners the flexibility to run Soccer for Success three days a week for a typical 12-week season in the way that works best for them and their community at any given time. Partners can move seamlessly between offerings on any given day or week.

It also allows partners to continue to serve as many children as possible. In some places, space constraints may limit the number of in-person socially distanced participants allowed at one time. Partners can alternate days that players can come in person, while still providing live virtual or pre-recorded programming to any other students enrolled in the program. No matter what stage a given community is in, children have a way to participate in each session.

This approach also anticipates the very real scenario that things will continue to change rapidly community by community, and that each new day could bring something different. Even if guidelines change overnight, partners can still run programming virtually or through distribution of pre-recorded sessions without missing a beat.

This helps children have some sense of consistency, keeps them active, and keeps them connected to each other in a positive and fun way.

We know that things will continue to change and our Foundation team will continue to adapt and innovate. To do this, we need the continued support of our partners. If you are able, please consider making a gift to the Foundation today so that we can bring this programming to more children nationwide. Every dollar makes a difference.

We’d also love to hear what’s working well in your communities as we all continue to learn and grow together. Because only by working together will we get through this challenging time.

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OUR PARTNERS

  • adidas

    adidas

    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

  • APT

    APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • AstroTurf

    AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. – See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf

  • CHA

    CHA

    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

  • Hunter

    Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

  • MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • Musco

    Musco

    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

  • Soccer.com

    Soccer.com

    Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

  • Target

    Target

    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

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