(Guest Post by Lead Coach Matthew)
As a coach with Soccer Shots, I hear the phrase, “that’s MY ball!” from a multiplicity of our youth players. Since one goal of Soccer Shots is to improve individual skills through a copious amount of time on the ball, each player is given his or her own ball for a portion of each class. As such, soccer balls are routinely interchanged between players during dribbling drills and fun games. The exchange generally causes minimal disruption, but there are occasions where it creates a small controversy. Mediating the commotion over which player had which soccer ball was and is not how I prefer to utilize class time.
Therefore, in an effort to minimize and quell these minor distractions from future classes, I raised the issue to our Director of Program and Community Advancement, Alyssa McGarigal. Unexpectedly, she informed me that said behavior is not a form of selfishness in wanting a particular ball but rather a cognitive achievement. The achievement is that the youth player has developed a sense of self and understands that there is a difference between him or her and others.
Knowledge of the aforementioned concept has helped me approach scenarios involving disputes over soccer balls with a much more positive attitude. I am happy to have this new outlook and am eager to build on my understanding of child development by taking early childhood education courses.