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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Soccer season starring the Seaton Stingers, Part II: 'Fruits and vegetables'

Do you remember your first time on a team? Learning how to play a sport? DC SCORES intern Luiza Kieffer is spending this fall with the Seaton Elementary School Stingers, documenting the team’s progress on a weekly basis as Coach Blake teacher the kids basic skills, the rules of soccer, and how to be on a team. For more, follow @DCSCORESinterns and watch Luiza’s videos on YouTube.


Written by Luiza Kieffer
Digital Media Intern

October 20, 2015

“Ready, set, go,” Coach Blake yells out, as the kids eagerly get ready to run -- anxiously waiting to grab someone’s red penny from someone else’s belt, while trying to secure theirs.

Coach Blake starts the practice with a fun game of tail tag, with the objective being to steal someone's “tail,” while protecting yours and collecting as many “tails” as you can.

“You’re running too fast!” yells Erika, running after Giovanni and trying to steal his penny.

“Catch me if you can,” he yells back to Erika.

After the first game of the season, Coach Blake now has a better idea of what the team needs to work on as a whole and individually -- as well as what they are doing well.

“Throughout just a couple weeks of practice, they have improved on spreading out and thinking about plays instead of just dribbling straight into the defender,” he says.

“For most of the kids, they are still learning their fruits and vegetables,” Blake adds, referring to the basics of soccer.

To practice those fruits and vegetables, Blake uses the practice to work on passing drills. First he instructs everyone to find a partner, then move around while passing the ball and keeping heads up.

Coach Blake sets up random small goals on the field, and the kids are asked to make a goal whenever they stumble upon one. During this exercise, Blake goes around to each partner pair and helps them improve their technique.

By the end of practice, the Seaton Stingers are ready to scrimmage! This is the Stingers’ favorite time of practice. This is when you see the pure elation on the faces of the children when they assist a goal or make a perfect pass, and the satisfaction that they feel. Scrimmages and games are when you can really see how this group of children comes together and doesn’t just look like a team, but plays like one.

Sitting on the sideline with Lorenzo, 10, Gabriel, also 10, says of him, “When he’s in goalie nobody scores.” Just a month into the season, it’s clear how these kids bonding with each other and the game they’re learning.

While talking to students about how their game went the previous Thursday, most responses were, “We won, we won!!” Tykia M. started to talk about how the game went and winning, and then suddenly turned and exclaimed, “It turns out I’m pretty great at soccer, and I didn’t even know that.”

Seeing the confidence in Tykia’s face, you could tell just how much pride she already takes in being on a team.

More coming next week!

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