Soccer Shooters are experienced in running holiday clubs, from the ages of 5 through to 12. Kids have been come to us during holidays for a dose of football, socialising and a chance to be challenged and practice the game they love.
But what happens when they are 13-15 years old and their friends start to try new sports or play in the park instead of coming to football fundays? Some of these kids still crave the environment that they feel comfortable and safe to practice and improve their skills. Soccer shooters have organically started to use a “Rookie programme” where kids that want to stay involved in football fundays can even though they are a little older and more mature than the rest. This was borne from kids aged 13-14 asking if they could attend to help out. We thought it was our duty to reward this enthusiasm!
We spoke to one of our rookies (IH) and what they get out of Soccer Shooters now, “It gives me a good and helpful insight into Soccer Shooters and with that gives me a leg up and insight into coaching and volunteering”. IH has been one of the leaders of his footballing group for many years with us and has naturally progressed to want to help out formally.
Our young coaches are given a briefing every morning on their responsibilities as a Rookie coach, we help them understand that we want to create an environment to “Let the kids” play. It is a great way to help them understand the impact that they can make on young people and their lives.
They lived it all very recently and start to get a sense of the preparation that goes into providing that environment that they themselves enjoyed.
This transition age can be a crazy time for kids. It can be the first experience for a lot of the “Rookies” to be trusted and spoken to as an adult and treated in that same way. We ask them to be confident and find their coaching self. As they are either volunteering or getting paid a bit of pocket money we ask them to recognise that this is their first working experience so can they be proactive and ask questions to understand why they are doing what they do. Lastly we ask them to recognise the importance of their role, enjoy themselves as they are impacting young people positively and being a great role model.
This article was written by Jake Brown
Jake is a Soccer Shooters Funday manager