Throughout the month of September, soccer enthusiasts all across the U.S. took part in Youth Soccer Month, a national program designed to highlight and spread awareness of the benefits of youth soccer. Wanting to organize a creative event, coaches and players of Indianapolis-based South Central Soccer Academy (SCSA) thought of something unique: ‘Make Your Own Ball Night’.
“Make Your Own Ball Night”, is a creative youth development initiative introduced by SCSA that clearly demonstrate - one way - that the game of soccer can be leveraged to help their players understand just how fortunate they are to have opportunities that hundreds of millions of children will never experience. This initiative also broadens the minds of these young players as they learn about other parts of the world.
“The night originates out of a desire to show our players how lucky we are to have the things we have as well as to broaden their understanding of the game and themselves,” said Mark Spiegel, founder of the program.
As part of the event, players made their own soccer balls then, played barefoot with their own imperfect, misshapen balls. Through this, players were able to recognize, first-hand, some of the hardships that youth soccer players face in third-world countries.
“Most of the wonderful coaches, parents, administrators and other volunteers involved in the member clubs around the state of Indiana invest their time, talent and treasure for the purpose of youth development. It just so happens that they have elected to use Soccer as the development tool” said Dave Guthrie, executive director of Indiana Soccer.
The association is pleased to be partnering with Spiegel and SCSA to help develop this program into a statewide initiative.
“Indiana Soccer is always looking for creative and new methods to teach, inspire as well as educate our youth players. The enthusiasm and energy shown by the kids and coaches involved with SCSA's "Make your own ball night", not to mentioned the lessons learned, now puts the challenge out there to our other member clubs.” said Steve Franklin, director of coaching education for Indiana Soccer.
If you are interested in being part of the initiative, please contact your Director of Coaching Steve Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the initiative’s video, click on the following link: VIDEO.
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