During soccer season coaches and players are going non-stop to practices, clinics, training, and games. Hours of traveling, sitting at practices or games, added laundry, meals on the go, and missed weekly chores are all part of the normal chaos that is part of the soccer season. All too often we take for granted the support we receive at home. Whether it is a parent driving us to practice/game, shopping for shoes, or a spouse that is taking on extra duties around the house so you can focus on coaching or playing, now we need to recognize our base of support and thank them!
The Holiday Season is here, and the excitement is quite noticeable at school from our students. My colleagues & I enjoy the buildup to holiday break as well, with special contests, potlucks, & even a day to wear our favorite “Ugly” sweater.
Every year I compile a list of items to accomplish over holiday break that is a mixture of school-related projects & personal/family time that is important for “recharging my batteries”. This year is no different, with a sizable curriculum project on the list and scheduling activities for the second half of the school year. My holiday break will include time at school to accomplish these tasks, but in a peaceful child-free environment conducive to productivity. Lastly, I use the holiday break to reflect on successes & possible ways to improve my physical education classes. I spend a great deal of time looking for quality teaching tools, as well as ideas to incorporate into my lesson plans. The use of apps & exploration of websites is an example of this task. Our profession requires a great deal of self-evaluation, and this is the ideal time for this to take place.
Joe Roelofs has been a health and physical education instructor for Rockford Area Schools since 1999. Throughout his tenure he has taught students from preschool to 12th grade. He has also coached varsity baseball, strength training, and is the current coach of the 7th grade football team. Joe became a health and physical education teacher because of his love of all activities, even the ones that he never participated in. He is a strong believer that teachers should always be looking for resources and methods to make their classes the best they can be.
Metacognition is “cognition about cognition”, “thinking about thinking”, “knowing about knowing”, becoming “aware of one’s awareness” and higher-order thinking skills. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning “beyond”, or “on top of”. Metacognition can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem-solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacognition)
As a professional soccer game announcer and analyst, I was honored to be asked to announce a Pre-Olympic game. With their National Anthems playing and me reading the last names on their shirts, here were all these guys from Central America living the dream. Then I thought “If my child were on the field how proud I would feel.”
These were U-20 players representing their country and dreaming of playing in the Olympics. Their dreams came true because of the support of their parents.
You just got talked into coaching your first soccer team. CONGRATULATIONS!
Here are FIVE tried and true suggestions for you.
If you want players to come to practice, respect you, have their parent’s respect you, the other coaches respect you, and – yes – even the referees respect you . . . be positive. Look for little “victories” with each player and compliment them when they succeed. Success breeds success. Sarcasm and negativity will tear a player down rather than build them up.
Volunteer Parents are the lifeblood of every Youth Soccer Club or Association. They make the organization work and determine the short- and long-term success of the youth soccer club.
My experience and understanding of youth soccer are that most organizations lose up to 50% of their volunteer base predominantly in the coaching ranks each year. By stopping a revolving door of losing these coach volunteers the Club can enjoy coach and management experience with continuity. Clubs need to offer age and gender specific programs that fit the organizations culture to make volunteer coach experiences rewarding and enjoyable, so they will sign on for another year or even more and continue to volunteer.
November and early December allow most organizations to pause and reflect a bit. Board meetings will bring up new topics, as new board members come on board and try to rejuvenate the organization’s leadership. High School awards banquets or Club banquets celebrate the players and coaching achievements, and often the parental involvement for being supporters of their players. Many organizations are beginning to work hard to improve skills with their competitive players, and in some cases, that is in-doors.
A soccer module is being taught in elementary and middle school for at least one two-week session, and often two separate two weeks sessions every year. What if these teachers, most of whom are not proficient at soccer, are given the tools to present to their students an all-encompassing soccer unit with measurable standards!
We have developed, with the help of Physical Education Teachers and experts in the education field, a great tool for teachers to use in their classrooms that is flexible, inexpensive, fun for the kids, and produces measurable results.