On September 9th, Mason Elementary hosted the annual America SCORES Chicago’s soccer and writing coach fall training. Coaches were able to learn more about SCORE’s mission and the power of the work we do, as well as best practices when working with youth. For example, two teams of coaches acted out scenarios in which a student (who usually doesn’t read his poetry) volunteered to do so; another team acted in a scene where a new goalkeeper became discouraged when he let three goals past him. Both scenes were meant to showcase how coaches could both praise the positive actions of students and give encouragement in times of disappointment.
Before the group split into their either the soccer or writing section, they had the opportunity to participate in the SCORES Iron Coach challenge! The first challenge was to make a list of ways to show a child you care, followed by a list of ten healthy snacks, and writing a team haiku. Each team also had to come up with a unique handshake and demonstrate it for another team before they could go to the “Soccer Sphinx” outside the gymnasium. The Soccer Sphinx (in this case, Coach Aiden) would only let people pass to the final part of the challenge when they answered a soccer trivia question correctly. The teams then had to enter the gymnasium and complete team skis. Each foot was placed on a piece of duct tape by team members, and they had to collectively walk across the gym floor in order to finish the Iron Coach Challenge.
After the Challenge was completed, coaches split into their soccer and writing groups to receive more specific instruction. Coach Dean went over the basics in the gymnasium, followed by a group game of keep-away, in which groups of three had to shield a ball from two outside defenders. The writing coaches, led by Coach Amy, worked in teams to create diamante poetry (in the shape of a diamond) and free verse poetry inspired by music and artwork. Teams presented their poetry at the end of writing session.