BMC News

Soccer For Success

Young+athletes+learning+how+to+shoot+for+the+stars+%28www.pixabay.com%29.
Young athletes learning how to shoot for the stars (www.pixabay.com).

Young athletes learning how to shoot for the stars (www.pixabay.com).

Young athletes learning how to shoot for the stars (www.pixabay.com).

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Some would say that the most critical part of a kid’s day is when they get out of the classroom. That’s why after-school programs are essential for children who do not have the proper support they need to be successful. Soccer For Success is a non-for-profit after-school program that is proven to help kids establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through caring mentors and family engagement. It is run by the U.S. Soccer Foundation and is free to underprivileged kids all across the country. The program provides a uniform and a ball to each child, along with 90 minutes of coaching and exercise. They learn teamwork and other necessary life skills 3 days a week for 24 weeks. Soccer For Success provides a safe place for developing kids to use the sport as a way to stay healthy and establish friendships.

Brashier students have experienced first-hand the impact they can make on young children. Several interviewees have coached younger siblings or kids different sports that they are passionate about.

“I have coached soccer for kids under a student-ministry program before. It was cool to see them become more confident as players as well as people. I think the sport can really make you learn a lot,” says junior Corey Curtis.

Not only do participants learn about soccer, but they also learn about eating right and other ways to stay healthy. The young players will gain important decision-making and relationship skills from their interactions with coaches and peers. The coaches make an effort to extend their knowledge to educate parents and guardians about how to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle and nurture their child’s personal growth.

“As an athlete, it is important to nourish your body with the food it needs to fuel itself. Coaches have impacted my diet positively by teaching me what foods are healthy,” says Curtis.

Without coaches making the effort to teach children what foods are good for them, kids might not know how to choose a healthy diet. These positive role models can really influence children on choices they will make later in life. By teaching student-athletes early on what choices will benefit them, they have a less likely chance of engaging in bad habits. Soccer For Success has even made its way to South Carolina. Located in Spartanburg, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has positively benefited kids in our very own community.

“I think soccer programs that not only coach kids on skill, but also on hard work and dedication can really pay off in the long run. Many great players have been made by their coaches passing on life skills and good habits to them,” says striker Joel Houston.

After-school programs such as Soccer For Success can be valuable to the kids they influence, as well as the communities around them. When the public comes together to build each other up, we all get the rewards.

 

“I think disadvantaged communities should have programs like these to help kids be exposed to such a great sport, while also helping them build a fit and happy lifestyle,” says Houston.

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Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students
Soccer For Success