Yesterday, we introduced you to three sponsored kids who are part of the soccer training camp. To continue the World Cup fever, here’s an interview* with their coach, Stanley. At the bottom of this interview is a fun video of the kids practicing, so be sure to watch these future World Cup athletes in training!
How many children are in the soccer camp?
In the soccer camp, we have approximately 25-30 children.
What is the average age of the children?
It fluctuates between the ages of 7 and 18.
Why does CFCA offer this camp?
They offer this camp to introduce some soccer basics to the children and to give them an opportunity to be together and understand the sport.
What is the value that this camp brings to the sponsorship program?
The value that it brings is to give the children a little more attention in the area of sports and, at the same time, it doesnít distract them from their studies. Both are very important.
What part of the training do the children enjoy the most?
What the children most enjoy is perhaps after the training, they have a scrimmage ñ a little game. This is the thing they like the most.
How long have they been training?
We have been training and practicing for about a year and three months.
What is the idea or goal for the kids who come to soccer practice?
The fundamental idea is for the child to have fun, and that the child learns to play soccer. Our goal is to include them in a soccer tournament where they can compete with other teams and they can have healthy fun and play together.
How is the practice? What time do you start and how long do they practice?
We have practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesdays and Thursdays, practices are in the morning from 8-10. We begin with stretching, physical movements, then we do tactical movements and techniques with the ball. Finally, we end with a game.
What satisfaction do you get from coaching soccer?
Since I was little, I have always liked soccer, and the children motivate me, because I see their satisfaction when they are playing. This encourages me to follow through with them.
What changes have you seen in the children?
Many of them used to spend their time at home doing nothing. One is capable of detecting when a child doesnít have advanced, motivating activities. During our training, I have seen the improvement and evolution that it has given the child. I can see it there already when they run, kick the ball or whatever we are doing on the training field.
Is it difficult to coach the children?
Well, difficult, no, although sometimes there are children with a stronger temperament, and as a coach, you have to learn when to avoid or to respond to their temperaments, but it is not difficult. It is all about knowing the way children are and then getting along with them.
What do you do when a child has a strong temper?
When we have a child like that, I speak with him or her. If this does not work, I can take him or her out of the practice, and it is then when the child reflects and thinks “I am being taken out of the practice, and I want to continue playing. I better behave because I want to be in the practice,” This is a good way to mold his or her personality, and things calm down at the same time.
What are the difficulties that children face in order to come to the practice?
I would say that the difficulties I have seen are, sometimes, their own parents. Sometimes parents tell their children “Look, don’t go to practice because you need to work or need to do this and that.” For example, to pick coffee during the picking season. The child discontinues training because there is no other option, and this is the biggest difficulty I see. The child can be highly motivated, but when parents say this is it, they feel very discouraged.
What is their preparation right before a game?
Well, they all get dressed and geared up. We do some stretching, some movements with the ball, and then I talk to them and tell them what we are going to do once we are on the field and how we need to get ready.
When you have the children gathered together, what do you tell them?
My words are mostly motivational and encouraging, to play the way we have been during the week, just to pass the ball around and to kick it to the goal posts. I try to keep them motivated.
Have you won any games?
We have won games and we have also lost games. Sometimes we have won with a difference of six or seven goals, and the children feel very motivated, but when we are losing, they donít like it too much. They don’t like losing, but it is just another way you learn.
When you win, how do you reward them? When you lose, what do you tell them?
When we win, I congratulate them all. When we lose, I encourage them to continue working hard during the training sessions.
*Thank you again to Naresly Callito for the interview and to Daniel Hernandez for the photos and video footage.