My name is Emma Sebourn. It is my third year at Darby High School (yet I am graduating early, making me a senior), and I chose to document my 2016- soccer coaching experiences for my capstone project.
I began working with Hilliard F.C. (Now Locomotive S.C.) in the fall of 2015 as a volunteer coach for a team of u5 boys. By the end of this season, I was hired as the official u5 boys coach and as the assistant coach for a u9 boys team for the club.
Since then, I have coached various different teams, including u5, u7 and u11 girls, and u6 boys (in addition to the teams aforementioned).
I have also volunteered multiple times for TOPSoccer, run through Locomotive, as well as running a session in its entirety. This program is designed for children with disabilities and special needs to be able to go out and play games and learn soccer with their peers, without the pressure of a highly competitive enviroment.
Mentor Contact Information
Megan Bibbey is the Locomotive SC Academy u5-u7 Director. Her email is email@example.com
My mother, Kim Sebourn, would also be able to verify my involvement with these programs. She can be reached on mobile at (614)530-3850 or emailed through firstname.lastname@example.org
- August of 2015 to October of 2015 (twice a week, 6:15-7:15pm on Fridays and Sundays) — Junior Academy
- March of 2016 to May of 2016 (twice a week, 6:15-7:15om on Fridays and Sundays) — Junior Academy
- August of 2016 to October of 2016 (three times a week, 5:15-7:15 on Fridays and 6:15-7:15 on Sundays) — Junior Academy
- Various Saturdays throughout September and October from 10-11am — TOPSoccer
- Various weekly practices since December 2015 (around 3-5 hours a week) — u9 boys club soccer
Coaching all of these kids was/is an amazing experience for me. Every single child is different and quirky and fantastic in their own ways. In coaching, you will see shyness, fatigue, and general stubbornness. However, you will also see brilliance, motivation, and excitiment. That's what makes all the planning, explaining, and patience needed to coach worth it.
We would typically have 4-6 activities for the children to do in each one of our practices.
A common favorite was "Sharks & Minnows", in which a few kids were sharks in the rest were minnows. The minnows would dribble their ball across the field to certain "safe spots", and the sharks would chase them and try to steal their ball. Once the ball is stolen from a minnow, they become a shark, and the last minnow alive wins the game. We would teach the importance of both speed and ball control in order to stay away from sharks.
Another favorite (especially among younger children) was "Ouch". This involved each child dribbling around the field in pursuit of one of their coaches, who would be running slowly. They would try and gently (sometimes) hit the coaches by passing their ball towards their feet. We would teach dribbling and passing accuracy with this drill.
The children would also request to do scrimmages towards the ends of their practices. These were fun ways to let out energy and coach players individually on how to improve their play.
"Parents vs Kids" game held on the last day of my u7 girls' practice.
The Friday practices would have multiple drills and games to play, and the Sunday practices were solely scrimmaging.
The TOPSoccer program was mostly run with games that they played to build some life skills and friendships while having a lot of fun.
The club practices were more intense, as those boys were training for very competitive play and their own development. We would do more shooting and work on the technique of play instead of the fundamental aspects of it (like we did in Junior Academy).
Locomotive's indoor training facility
I feel as if these environments and situations that I faced in coaching better prepared me for the career that I choose to pursue (teaching). I think it allowed me to really see the differences in the way you need to treat each child—no one learns the same or is motivated by the same things. I think that I was able to change in the way I communicated with the children over time. It became more effective and I was able to improve my own communication and coaching skills by watching different things such as their work ethic, attitude, and abilities.
I would not do anything differently if I were to go back. I believe that the mistakes that I made sometimes were minor and I still learned from them. I quickly surrounded myself with great people, including other coaches, parents, and kids.
Participating in coaching was an amazing experience and it is still one of the most influential things that I've ever done. It has allowed me to grow as a person, improving responsibility and management skills. It was truly enjoyable to see children grow, not only physically over the two years I've done this, but mentally and socially as well. There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing a child so happy after you teach them a skill they hadn't learned before and watching them use it successfully. Coaching gives me the opportunity to make that happen all the time and it's truly the best thing that I could spend my time on.