Earlier this week we told you about some of this trimester’s more unique class offerings. Today we’re diving deep into one class that didn’t make the list: Coaching.
You can talk about on-the-job training all you want, but here at Eagle Rock, our five-week coaching-focused class puts our students on the front lines, planting them firmly on the soccer field with a bunch of rambunctious, overactive kids who are eager to learn the sport, courtesy of the Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District.
The focus of the class offering is to teach and facilitate the difference between good coaching and bad coaching, and our fledgling practitioners soon learn the virtues of patience, and that while there is indeed power in being a mentor to youngsters, it’s important to know how to interact with kids — even when they’re annoying.
Our students participating in the coaching class have the additional benefit of giving back to the local community by not only coaching the youngsters, but also by helping the parents out as well as the kids’ regular coaches. And it’s a demonstration that Eagle Rock School is a good neighbor and an important part of the Estes Park community.
These Eagle Rock students have the opportunity to hone their people skills, learning to introduce themselves to strangers and connect with people from completely different backgrounds.
One of the objectives of the program is for our students to teach kids how to refine and improve their soccer skills and gain a depth of knowledge about the game. As a part of that process, our students learn how to create a coaching lesson plan and how to engage and help youngsters regardless of their skill levels.
Twice a week, students in the Coaching class visited Estes Park’s soccer fields for a practice session and then a game on Saturdays — all under the supervision of Anna Magle-Haberek, our Human Performance instructional specialist, and Niko Viglione, our Human Performance Fellow.
This trimester’s student coaches include Kiyah Curry, Levi Sage, Bryan Yanez, Melvin Yanez and Aaron Simon, and each was partnered with an Estes Park community member head coach. Each student was also assigned responsibility for two soccer teams.
Our students coached a “Little Kicker’s Program,” for 3- and 4-year-old youngsters, with other teams split between 5- and 6-year-olds and 7- and 8-year-olds.
Among the outcomes expressed by these new instructors was gaining comfort in collaborating with the head coach to whom they were assigned from within the Estes Park community. In addition, they experienced what it’s like to be in the thick of community work with no expectation of monetary gain.
It all boils down to that old oxymoron that you have to give it away in order to keep it.