More Than Futbol knows the power of making good decisions.
Every year in January, they come to Holy Cross and use the universal language of sport to teach our students the importance of having goals, playing fair and making good decisions. This year, teams of coaches came during January, with one coach staying on until June.
So what does this team do? So much More Than Futbol!
After School Futbol Camp
Every day after school, the More Than Futbol coaches run an after school soccer camp, teaching the students new skills and how to play as a team. In the early years, the students were just excited to run around and kick. Over the years they’re realized the benefits of practicing skills and working together as a team.
In the last weekend in January, we had our first Futbol Tournament. About a dozen teams signed up to play. It was wonderful seeing the kids working as teams, passing the ball and encouraging each other. The students had a wonderful time, and the teachers joined in selling snacks as a school fundraiser and cheering their students on.
Saturday Fitness Club
For added fun and time to interact with the students, the coaches started a Saturday exercise club. The kids who showed up worked hard and had fun. An unexpected but delightful bonus was that a small group of teachers got involved each week, which evolved into the beginnings of an ongoing cross-fit club. What a great way for our teachers to blow off steam each week!
There’s more to fulbol than kicking a ball
While futbol is fun, the coaches have always emphasized that there’s much more to futbol than kicking a ball, and much more to life than just futbol. The right attitude, personal discipline, working as a team and doing well in school are essential, too. To that end the coaches have found their place in the classrooms, helping our teachers in many ways.
The coaches helped students who were struggling to read and write. As is the nature of a tourist destination with seasonal work, we often get new students who haven’t attended school regularly (if at all), who don’t speak English well (or at all), and who just need some extra help and encouragement to learn. Thank you for your help!
A highlight for the students was story time! Coaches would take time to read stories that highlighted the values being taught by More Than Futbol. The students loved hearing the stories and talking about them.
Working to a bigger goal
Throughout the Semester, students could earn points to “spend” on futbol gear – cleats, jerseys and balls. Students can earn points by attending the afterschool camp, helping the coaches, attending Saturday workouts, having good behavior and working hard in class, and submitting essays.
The coaches did this last year, too, and it was a big hit. And this year it’s fascinating to see how some of the students have really learned how to work hard and collect points. For some kids, this is their big chance to have genuine futbol gear and they’re not going to miss it!
Every year, the More Than Futbol coaches have found different ways to encourage our students to set goals and take steps to achieving them. They have also found ways to teach other important life skills – especially about taking responsibility for their own actions and decisions. This year, the coaches ran an essay competition. Each week, the students were presented with a topic to think about. The competition was open to all students, with the winning student being presented with a futbol shirt at assembly the following week.
Topics over the first month included
• I am the master of my fate
• Whether you think you can or your think you can’t, you are correct
• Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
• Lead us not into temptation
The first week, only a few students entered the competition. After seeing the winner receive a shirt and be allowed to wear it the whole day, the second week received a flood of essays!
The essay completion will continue until the end of the school year in June.