This year’s Work to Play Coaches Training at the Chicago Indoor Sports Center was a huge success! 53 coaches, a mix of On-Site Program Directors and Assistant Coaches from the 22 schools that participate in the Work to Play Program, attended the fast-paced and interactive training on Urban Initiatives’ Work to Play curriculum. Our coaches are an amazing and dedicated group of folks, most of them Chicago Public Schools staff and parents of Work to Play participants.
The coaches shared best practices, ran through a mock program session, and learned the soccer moves and games from the Work to Play Program Booklet. They took a lot from Coach Simba’s session on how to effectively coach a practice and incorporate character and health coaching points into the games.
By far, the most entertaining part of the training was the Game Day Role Playing session. This session had coaches role play as 3rd graders playing a game. Two coaches at a time were the "coaches" refereeing the game, while the rest of the group were the "kids." The "kids" simulated different game day scenarios that are likely to arise throughout the year, such as a team who isn’t passing the ball or a misunderstanding between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking teams. The "coaches" had to identify the issue taking place and then step in and remedy the situation. Following each role play, the group would come together to share feedback and additional best practices for dealing with these game day scenarios.
We asked our coaches what they enjoyed most about this year’s training. Here’s what they had to say!
“The most effective aspect was the scenario role playing. It gave us a chance to get different ideas on solutions to problems.”
“Learning new things, new moves and how to be a better assistant coach.”
“Getting more input about how to handle the kids.”
“Doing the drills the kids do."
"Learning new skills and coaching points."
"Seeing real life scenarios got us thinking about how to deal with these situations if they arise."
"Getting out to the field and seeing the drills and game day scenarios."
"It being hands on."
We were also curious to know what our coaches are looking forward to most this program year. They certainly have no shortage of things to be excited about!
"I am elated about the teamwork and character building the season will bring to my students."
"Introducing the kids to soccer and living a healthy life."
"Seeing the kids learn and grow as a team and as soccer players."
"Working with players and building skills and teamwork."
"The excitement on the kids faces."
"Getting kids more ball time!"
"To use what I learned effectively when coaching the players."
"Having fun with the kids and learning about soccer and health."
Thanks to our coaches for bringing their high-energy, expertise and open minds to this year’s Work to Play Coaches Training! A special thank you goes out to the Chicago Indoor Sports Center for providing their beautiful facility for the training.