As I sit in Scotland providing a training for trainers on education through sport for the International Sport and Culture Association I find it particularly interesting that T]today is the 40th anniversary of Title IX in my home country. For me, who grew up without having a hinderance in playing and yet working within the context for a male dominated field, soccer, Title IX provides an interesting concept to the issue of females in sport.
When you are creating and developing a youth soccer program, the most important thing to keep in mind are your coaches. Who are they? What are their unique skills? Which coach will work best with each age/gender? What are the outcomes you want to see – soccer skills, social skills, education?
These answers will help you design a program that meets your desired outcomes and ensures that your players have the most positive experiences possible. The Global Team, in recognizing the important ‘mentor’ role of the coach, aims to provide these leaders with best practices not only on the sport of soccer, but age-appropriate tips, learning across ages/genders and the importance of fostering a culture of trust and respect on the field. Read a few of our tips below:
As everyone knows and as highlighted in the recent Obesity Report and highlighted through the First Lady’s Lets Move! Initiative, the U.S. has an obesity problem. Below are a list of resources to get educated on the issue, but the real question for sport program developers, administrators and advocates is, what is our role?
The Global Team believes that programs like the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program which leverages the power of soccer to promote nutritional education and active lifestyles is one great example, but what else can we do?
HBO’s The Weight of the Nation is a call to action, for everyone to get out of the fast food lane, onto the field and towards a balanced, healthy life. What do you think? How do you support active, healthy lifestyles?
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Boston Globe: Do We Finally Have A Solution To The Obesity Epidemic?
In order to reverse the American obesity epidemic that has left 1 out of 3 children and 2 out of 3 adults overweight, the nation needs to pool its resources to implement a number of sweeping initiatives (Kotz, 5/8).
The Wall Street Journal: The ABCs Of Beating Obesity
Obesity is so entrenched in the U.S. that it would take an intense push by schools, employers, doctors and others to reverse an epidemic that accounts for billions of dollars in annual health-care costs, concluded a report released Tuesday (McKay, 5/8).
The Associated Press: Report: Schools Key To Fighting America’s Obesity
[S]chools should be a national focus because that’s where children spend most of their day, eat a lot of their daily calories — and should be better taught how to eat healthy and stay fit, the influential Institute of Medicine said Tuesday (Neergaard, 5/8).
The New York Times: Bans On School Junk Food Pay Off In California
Five years after California started cracking down on junk food in school cafeterias, a new report shows that high school students there consume fewer calories and less fat and sugar at school than students in other states. The findings suggest that state policies can be successful to some extent in influencing the eating habits of teenagers (O’Connor, 5/8).
Reuters: Obesity Fight Must Shift From Personal Blame — U.S. Panel
In an ambitious 478-page report, the IOM refutes the idea that obesity is largely the result of a lack of willpower on the part of individuals. Instead, it embraces policy proposals that have met with stiff resistance from the food industry and lawmakers, arguing that multiple strategies will be needed to make the U.S. environment less “obesogenic” (Begley, 5/8).
Los Angeles Times: Obesity Vs. ‘Nanny State’? Recommendations Lead To Backlash
These recommendations — made Tuesday at a government-led conference on the nation’s health — were greeted with applause by health care advocates alarmed at the nation’s obesity problem. But in other corners, the recommendations were seen as a shift away from personal responsibility (Lynch, 5/8).
MedPage Today: IOM: Society Must Rally to Fight Obesity
But the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit group supported by restaurants and food vendors, called the report’s endorsement of policies such as soda taxes and restaurant zoning laws “misguided.” It cited a lone study showing that food prices and restaurant locations play a “miniscule” role in the obesity epidemic, and noted recent CDC data that show obesity rates are leveling off (Fiore, 5/8).
National Journal: Recess, New Menus Key To US Obesity Crisis, Report Finds
[The report says] Children need to get at least an hour of exercise a day at school — a difficult goal at a time when recess is often limited to 10 or 15 minutes a day — and Americans need help in making exercise a regular part of their daily lives (Fox, 5/8).
Medscape: Obesity Prevention Addressed in New IOM Report
The IOM formed the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention to address the health care challenges presented by obesity. … The new report identifies 5 critical areas, or “environments,” from which to attack the problem: physical activity, food and beverage, message (or marketing), health care and work, and schools (MacReady, 5/8).
ABC: Why U.S.’s Big Fat Problem Is Your Problem, Too
Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, an IOM committee member and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said that what this report does is “qualitatively different.” “It’s not a laundry list. It’s a specific kind of road map and recipe for change,” she said. “We packaged those ‘ingredients’ so we can counter a recipe for what, specifically we should do, where should we put our energy, which things will work together” (Marshall, 5/8).
NewsHour: Obesity In America: By The Numbers
Collectively, the numbers spell out a familiar story. American adults are expanding by the year, along with their children and health care costs. Depressing? Yes. … [C]lick the map below to watch a tidal wave of weight gain sweep across the nation between 1995 and 2010 (Chou and Kane, 5/8).
Below are top ten things to consider when creating community programs and building community relationships. Keep them in mind as you begin to grow your youth soccer community.
Top Ten Things to Consider in Developing Your Youth Soccer Program
- Understand your larger community. By knowing the needs of your community you can tailor your program to fit. For example, is obesity an issue? Gang violence? education? Linguistic differences? Understanding the make-up of your community can help you develop a program that creates meaningful and sustainable impact.
- Connect with your larger community. Create materials that explain your program, your goals and the details of your program in all target languages. Cold call or make local visits to build relationships with key community leaders and potential players – connecting with them where they are.
- Use your internal community. Explore the expertise that you already have within your organization. Do you have a Board Member who also volunteers at the local food shelter? A father who is a local police officer? Ask them questions about the needs in the community and influential leaders to connect to.
This month the Global Team will be highlighting fun ideas, tips and suggestions for developing soccer programs and integrating education onto the field. As many of us know, there is much more behind-the-scenes action that occurs before and after the blowing of the whistle.
Don’t know the first thing about soccer programs or sport for youth development? No worries, here are the first three tips of the month:
Keep it Age Appropriate
Beginning players and players at the youngest ages need a different structure than older players. As a general rule, the younger the player focus should be placed on smaller teams (ie. 3v3 or 4v4) and individual ball play. As players age, slowly grow teams and move practices towards pair and group play. Full 11v11 play should not be introduced until around age 11! By following this simple guide, you will ensure that players have the most success possible and are learning at levels that match their age and development.