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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Coaches gear up for spring season with action-packed, fun Coach Kickoff

Written by Dahlia Chaudhury
Communications Intern

A day full of speakers, service learning, and soccer: Coach Kickoff was a success!

The day began with the almost 90 attendees, volunteers and teachers from varying schools, gathering at MacFarland Middle School. They heard from a guest speaker, Suzanne Greenfield, who is the first director of the Citywide Youth Bullying Prevention Program with the Office of Human Rights. She talked to the coaches about how they can prevent bullying and promote inclusion this season. 

Next, the coaches split into breakout sessions. They could choose between: "Behind the Scenes at DC SCORES" led by Executive Director Bethany Rubin Henderson; "Creating Team Culture" led by Chief of Staff Katrina Owens; "Service-Learning for Soccer Coaches" led by Program Coordinator Hannah Ehlers; "Soccer for Service-Learning Coaches" led by Athletic Director Greg James; and "Using Data to Prove and Improve" led by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation Libby Watkins.

I was able to sit in on the session devoted to data. Libby gave the coaches a rundown into how DC SCORES uses numbers and what is considered data. After she gave her talk, coaches were able to give insights into how they could use the data compiled by staff, such as attendance and physical health records, to improve in their coaching duties. All of the other sessions went just as successfully; after breakouts the coaches headed to lunch!

Pizza was served for lunch, and during the hour coaches worked with the other coaches from their schools to plan for the upcoming season.

Once lunch was over, everyone was split into their specialties: soccer or writing. The soccer coaches began their lesson inside where they learned the basic aspects of practice and games. Then they moved outside for some on-the-field experience. Coaches practiced dribbling, passing, and accuracy. Then, just as the rain slowly started, it was time to scrimmage! Every drill taught to the coaches is one they'll use with kids this spring.

Inside, the service-learning coaches had fun learning activities they can use in their classrooms and in their respective school communities. One activity involved listing the positive and negative aspects of different parts of a school building. Their session was informative as well, and they all came away knowing the essential, four-stage process of DC SCORES service-learning.

The afternoon passed quickly and the day finished with coaches getting new DC SCORES T-shirts to wear around their SCORES communities. The brand continues to grow. What better way to end an awesome Coach Kickoff?!

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