Voices in the Crowd – National Training 2017

Meet Amy and Olivia!

Amy and Olivia are two Soccer for Success coach-mentors who attended the 2017 Soccer for Success National Training, representing Washington State Youth Soccer. The Foundation spoke with Amy and Olivia at the beginning and end of National Training about their expectations and experiences. We are excited to share their thoughts about National Training and how they believe the training will impact their upcoming Soccer for Success seasons!

Foundation: How did you get involved with Soccer for Success?

Olivia: I work with a company that connects people with disabilities to the community. I was researching opportunities for them and came across Soccer for Success. When I emailed Cameron to get more information, he said they were looking for coaches and from there I got involved and became a coach-mentor.

Amy: I work at a school and our head coach sent out an email, looking to recruit an assistant coach and I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of it.

: What is your favorite part of Soccer for Success?

O: Getting to connect with the kids and so many different people from the community as well. It really is a community-based program where we interact with everyone.

A: Getting to connect with the kids has been a big part of the program for me. Especially because I see the kids on the field and in the classroom at school. Some of them, the only thing they really care about is soccer. So, I’ve seen the motivation for soccer translate into the classroom because they know that they cannot participate in Soccer for Success without participating and succeeding in the classroom. 

Foundation: What are your thoughts and expectations coming into National Training?

A & O: We were not really sure what to expect. We were talking the night before about what we thought we should prepare for and even what we should pack. We talked about how we thought we’d learn more about the curriculum, like we did at our local training last year, and new ways to teach it and engage our players. But beyond that, we did not know what would be going on.  

After the event concluded, Amy and Olivia shared with the Foundation their reflections from National Training.

Foundation How did your experience at National Training differ from your initial expectations?

O: When signing up for the National Training, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect! I did think it would be more along the lines of lectures and larger groups, but to my surprise it was a very engaging and small group learning environment. 

A: My experience at National Training absolutely exceeded my expectations! I thought that it would be a lot of just sitting and listening to speakers, all the while surrounded by a bunch of people I didn’t know and probably wouldn’t get to know. Instead, the training was engaging, interactive, and gave me the opportunity to make lasting friendships with people that are doing what I am doing and have the same “why” as me. I left the training feeling motivated, encouraged, excited, and confident. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity! 

Foundation: How do you think participating in National Training will better prepare you for the upcoming Soccer for Success season?

O: This training has helped me become more confident in the curriculum and has given me great transition ideas, which was something I did struggle with my first season of Soccer for Success. I also think the National Training was very grounding and gave me a bigger picture of the program. Being on the field so often, you can get sucked into the game and the coach side, whereas the National Training gave a great reminder that we are here to be mentors and to help create a positive social change in those undeserved communities.

A: This training gave me not only a better knowledge base when it comes to curriculum and soccer skills, but so many resources that I can utilize throughout each session. I now have a group of amazing individuals that I can share questions and ideas with in order to create a more fun and engaging year for my kids!

Foundation: What do you think is the greatest take away you have from National Training?

O: Safe Spaces! I love this addition to the curriculum and am incorporating it into my workplace.

A: I think the greatest take away from this training is the friendships I have made. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to dive deeper into the curriculum as well as practice and learn many soccer skills, but the people that I met and the connections that I made are really what is going to make my coaching, mentoring, and training the best it can be. 

Foundation: If you could summarize National Training in one word, what would it be?

O: Inclusion!

A: Collaboration!   (#teamy) 

Interested in learning more about National Training? Relive all of the action here!


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