Junior has a talent for soccer and is not one to be shy about it. He has a dominant right foot that has a knack for scoring goals and attacking defensive lines. Junior knew he was talented when he started Soccer for Success, but what he did not realize was that it takes a full team to come together and be successful.
When Soccer for Success began in the Spring of 2016, Junior liked to show off his talents to his coaches and teammates. While his talents were undeniable, some of his coach-mentors noticed that other players were not always impressed by them and he spent much of his time alone during practice.
His coach-mentors realized that he always used his right foot and shied away from trying drills with his left. They encouraged him to practice drills with his left foot. By learning to use his left foot, Junior realized that soccer did not come as easily to others as it did to him with his dominant foot.
Junior would practice and play games using only his left foot. As he continued to practice with this foot, his coach-mentors noticed his attitude and engagement with his teammates change. Junior began to lean on his teammates for help while practicing the drills.
During week 7 of Soccer for Success, sportsmanship was a focus of the weekly lesson and it was immediately clear to Junior’s coach-mentors that he had learned the value and importance of sportsmanship. While doing an activity, Junior went around massaging his teammates shoulders before their turn and giving them encouragement.
During the closing circle, Junior’s coach-mentor Andrew acknowledged his positive sportsmanship. Junior replied, “I wanted to see my partners and teammates do well, that way I could do well too.”
With encouragement and mentorship from his coach-mentors, Junior learned that being a good teammate not only helped others, but also made him a better player.
With trained coach-mentors supporting the growth of their players, the lessons learned from Soccer for Success translate to participants’ lives on and off the pitch. From nutrition to sportsmanship, Soccer for Success encourages youth to lead healthy and active lifestyles, all through the world’s game of soccer.