February 2015 All-Star: Soccer for Success Coach Travis Goodlett

Even before Soccer for Success made its way to Auburn, Washington, PE teacher Travis Goodlett was beginning to see the game grow in popularity at Gildo Rey Elementary. As he watched students play during recess, and before and after school, Travis became inspired by his students’ love of the game. When presented with the opportunity to run a Soccer for Success program in 2012, Travis jumped at the chance. “I wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about at first, but I knew that if it was an opportunity to bring soccer to our kids, I wanted to be involved.”

As a long-time teacher at Gildo Rey, Travis was a natural choice for the head coaching position. Before assuming the role, Travis attended the Foundation’s National Coaches Training in Washington D.C – an experience that helped Travis to become not just a better coach, he says, but a better teacher. His deep involvement with the school community and his rapport with his students have translated exceptionally well onto the playing field. When Soccer for Success began at Gildo Rey three years ago, 30 kids were enrolled. Now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the entire Gildo Rey coaching staff, more than 50 students participate each season.

“Travis’ demeanor and attitude are consistently so positive and contagious,” says Rachel Wilton, Soccer for Success Community & Outreach Program Manager at Washington Youth Soccer.  “He operates one of our most successful sites because of how much he cares, the mutual respect he has with his players, and the incredible mentorship he has given to the kids, that in cause, make them want to be better people.”

Together with his co-coaches, Travis strives to create a fun and supportive environment for his players, placing a strong emphasis on teamwork and confidence-building, both on and off the field. “For many of our kids, this is the first time they’ve ever been coached or had a coach, so it’s important that they learn to enjoy the game and not worry about making mistakes,” says Travis. “I’m always asking kids to think about what is going to help them succeed in the future. Not just in sports, but in school, too. I like to ask, ‘What’s going to help you graduate?’ or ‘What are some things you can do to position yourself for success?’”

As the program has grown at Gildo Rey, so too has the game’s popularity in the surrounding community. Nearby middle schools have recently launched their own soccer programs, meaning Travis’ students will have an opportunity to continue playing even after they graduate from Gildo Rey. Even Travis, who played soccer as a kid, is now playing more than ever before. “I play in a rec league now with my wife and the game is a lot harder than I remember! I’ve actually improved my own skills a lot just from working with the kids. I’ve learned more about the game as a coach than I ever did as a player.”

With the spring season just a few short weeks away, Travis is looking forward to getting back to work on the field with his players and his fellow coaches. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing the kids grow and mature into better athletes and better leaders.” He says. “My favorite thing about Soccer for Success is seeing the kids flourish. We have so many talented kids and this program gives them an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise. It gives them a chance to play.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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World Soccer Shop

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