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‘Own It’ – Youth Soccer Team

In 2011, the coach of a girls youth soccer team was looking for a way to teach the girls not only soccer, but also life skills.

Coach Francisco understands that youth sports are a great way to put kids in safe situations to teach them the life skills that adults have to use every day – how to set goals, how to work on a team, how to win and lose graciously, how to get up and move on after a loss, etc.

The coach wanted a theme that is simple to remember and which would resonate with the girls.  Working with Symblicity, he chose the theme Own It and a simple program based around the popular Black Eyed Peas song was created.

“Although I have had the team for over three years, this year was different”, says Francisco.

Trust Building Activity

The lyrics were included in the goals handed out to the players at the beginning of the season.  The girls were then split into three groups and each discussed what a certain set of the lyrics meant to them.  At a team sleepover, each group would do a presentation to the two other groups with the most creative group receiving a prize.

Three other team building activities at the sleepover really solidified Own It for the players.  The team chose to break huddles with Own It.  The players were referred to as Owners in an emails.  If a player wasn’t giving her all, she was asked ‘Are you Owning It?’  Own It helped the players to understand that we all need to be responsible for our actions.

Awards Stage Accepting 1st Place

Francisco added, “When a 10 year old kid texts you from Mom’s phone to say she is going to be 15 minutes late to practice, that is Owning It.  When a player calls me after a practice and says she knows didn’t give it her all and will be more focused next practice, that is Owning It.”

While this had a huge effect on the players, Francisco noticed that parents were more well-behaved on the sideline because of the Own It theme.

The song means a lot to these kids and whether they continue playing soccer or not, anytime these players hear the song ‘Own It’, it will remind them of the 2011 season and the core value of responsibility.

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