Soccer Without Borders strives to support the positive growth of every participant, helping each individual realize that they have a voice and can work hard to reach their goals. So for this season in Granada, we agreed on a theme revolving around the general idea of challenging yourself. We want to push the girls to open their minds and continue improving on the field. A balance between the improvement of body and mind, this theme allows so much room for creativity.
To introduce “Atrévete” to the girls, we decided to start a Tuesday evening activity by bringing the Mariposas, Estrellas, and Nicoyas together with a dynamic challenge followed by a mentally engaging competition. To start, a couple of the coaches shouted a pair of numbers, the first signifying the size of the group and the second the number of legs allowed to remain on the floor. For example, a call of five-two meant a group of five girls with only two feet on the ground. They had to mobilize and strategize.
Next we divided the girls into groups and gave each one an equal pile of soccer equipment, such as cones, balls, and shinguards. The challenge: to build the highest structure in 12 minutes. Towers of stuff grew, wobbled, and toppled, but we saw some imaginative architecture and a lot of smiles.
Since then, the coaches and interns have visited houses, and the girls have signed contracts and set personal goals. We’ve already logged countless hours at the field and Alex (boy) has led the way with introducing iSoccer, a program to individually measure soccer skills pertinent to player development. With this, we have a more concrete manner of evaluation. The first results act as a baseline to improve on because we’ll have the girls perform the skills a couple more times this season.
Off to the races, the Nicoyas already won 1-0 in a friendly match against the American Nicaraguan School from Managua. The FSF Veteran team travels to Managua this Saturday to give ANS another battle.
Although chosen for the benefit of the girls, this theme simultaneously dares us as coaches and leaders to push ourselves to enhance the SWB Granada experience. The challenge: to take SWB to the next level, and we’re up for it.