Phillip and Tania are a husband and wife i9 Sports soccer coaching duo and proud parents of two soccer fanatics: Vincent, age 9, and Evan, age 7. The family has been with i9 Sports for 4 years and game day is a highlight of the week for all. In fact, they have quite the fun game day routine! We love their enthusiasm and wanted to give you a peek into their lives, as well as an i9 Sports soccer program, on a typical game day.
The alarm goes off. It’s game day! Phillip and Tania climb out of bed eager to head to the gym. They have no problem waking their sons, Vincent and Evan, who are excited to flip on the TV and begin watching Premier League soccer. Phillip and Tania take turns watching their sons and working out. Vincent and Evan get riled up for gameday while playing FIFA soccer and getting dressed for their soccer practice and match. They pull on their jerseys, sporting their lucky numbers, and lace up their Lionel Messi cleats. Phillip knows how important it is for the entire family to be properly fueled for the day ahead and prepares a healthy breakfast for Vincent and Evan as Tania returns from the gym, smoothie in hand, ready to hit the field.
Phillip and Tania switch from “mom and dad” into “coach” when they reach the field. Phillip and Tania ensure that all their players are consistently treated with equal attention and Vincent and Evan know the importance of respecting their coaches, even when it isn’t mom and dad. Before the players get on the field, Phillip and Tania discuss the sportsmanship value of the week with the team. Vincent, Evan and their teammates learn and recite the weekly value as a group and then get to work warming up and practicing the fundamentals. Many of the players have been together for several seasons and have built a strong bond as a team. The team runs drills on dribbling, passing and shooting while Tania and Phillip help keep their team’s parents engaged by sharing knowledge about strategy and techniques to watch for during the game. Phillip and Tania review some final strategies with the team and keep the players’ energy high as game time approaches. Vincent knows the key to success is “to stay focused throughout the game!”
The team carries the energy they’ve built up during practice onto the field as the game begins. The game is their opportunity to implement the techniques they practiced earlier in the day and show that they know how to use the strategies they learned. With the practice and coaching tips fresh in their mind, they hit the field prepared to do their best. Vincent and Evan are a force to be reckoned with on the field, earning them the nicknames “Thunder & Lightning.” They put in maximum effort through all four quarters and constantly encourage their teammates. From the sidelines, Phillip and Tania keep things positive and give light instruction to the players, pumping them up and making sure they see open opportunities.
Post Game Huddle
Win or lose, Evan remarks that the most important thing is to “be happy, no matter what happens!” Phillip and Tania gather the team and parents together and congratulate the players on all their hard work. The coaches stay positive and focused on what went well during the game, making sure to recognize the moments when players executed things they learned in practice. The players are given the opportunity to go over what they learned that day and once again recite the value of the week. The coaches award one player with the weekly Sportsmanship Award and explain how that player demonstrated the week’s value during the game. The parents and the whole team join in on congratulating the Sportsmanship Award winner in a tidal wave of smiles and cheering. The players, tired but happy, gather their belongings and head home for the day.
The Ride Home
As the family enjoys the ride home, Phillip and Tania are filled with a sense of pride, as both parents and coaches, for the values their sons demonstrated on an off the field. One moment in particular sticks out in Phillip’s mind as he recalls his oldest son Vincent taking the initiative to cheer up players from the opposing team after a loss.
At the Junior level at i9 Sports, we focus on providing instruction that helps this age group develop motor skills as well as team dynamics. We are committed to both teaching the sport as well as instilling the value of good sportsmanship at all ages. Most importantly, we want all of our families to have fun and make memories that will last a lifetime. We’re certain Vincent and Evan will have a lot of stories to tell about their soccer days with us! And that makes us very proud.
For more information on an i9 Sports soccer program near you click here.