Did you know? According to MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, 15 million youth nationwide are in need of a caring, supportive mentor. Mentors serve as positive role models and can help set a good example for children, especially when it comes to learning how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
As members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, we see the Together Counts™ program as a tool ideal for encouraging healthy active lifestyles in the form of mentoring. Being active together is our mantra! While mentors come in many forms, the U.S. Soccer Foundation is drawing upon the power of coaches to empower children across the country to lead healthy, active lives. “Coach-mentors” provide so much more than sports instruction – they empower their players to grow, learn, and thrive in the world beyond the playing field!
Through the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, coach-mentors are teaching more than 30,000 children across the nation about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. Unlike traditional soccer-only programs, the Soccer for Success curriculum is designed to teach participants and their family members about energy balance and proper nutrition. Alongside their coach-mentors, Soccer for Success participants participate in 90-minute sessions three days a week; throughout each practice, coach-mentors lead their players through high-energy soccer activities while also seamlessly integrating nutrition education into the practice flow. Using a “continuous play” model, coach-mentors are able to ensure that participants are in constant motion and are actively engaged throughout the entire practice.
So while a coach can teach a player how to dribble down the field or how to pass a ball, their true impact is often felt long after the whistle blows. From emulating healthy habits to helping participants improve their self-esteem, coach-mentors are positioning children to succeed in the game of life.
Interested in learning more about Soccer for Success and the power of coach-mentors? Visit ussoccerfoundation.org for more information or register to attend the 2015 Urban Soccer Symposium in Washington, DC.
The mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation is to enhance, assist and grow the sport of soccer in the United States, with a special emphasis on underserved communities. We view soccer as a powerful vehicle for social change. By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow and places to learn, our goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.