Monday, June 3, 2013

Project Coach Staff Visits Boys' Club of NYC

Veteran coaches from PC observe Project Coach at BCNY

            On Friday, May 31st leadership staff from Project Coach traveled to see the Boys' Club of NYC operating their Project Coach program. As part of an existing partnership with BCNY, Project Coach runs a training camp for new coaches over the summer and then travels to NYC to visit the program, see the coaches in action, provide feedback, and meet with the directors. Veteran coaches from Project Coach who are now in college and have leadership roles in our organization travel with us to see Project Coach in another setting and help coaches from BCNY improve. On this particular visit, we went to the Gerry Clubhouse in Harlem and observed two floor hockey games. 
           Our visit started with a great welcoming from Manny Maldonado, physical director of the clubhouse, and three BCNY Project Coach teens. The teen coaches gave us a wonderful tour of the facilities, explained their experiences coaching and how it impacted them, and discussed their great experiences with the BCNY. Along the way we also met a veteran coach who was about to graduate high school and head to college in North Carolina. He spoke eloquently about choosing his college and major, being excited to go far away, and his love for coaching and the Boys' Club. 
Let the game begin!        
            Following our tour and meet and greet, we went to watch the two floor hockey games. Immediately upon entering the gym, the energy from coaches and players was apparent. Coaches began with a huddle to prepare their team and set the tone. The coaches did a great job focusing on teamwork, passing, and hard work. Once the game started, players were fully engaged, running around, and enjoying this excellent physical activity. Goals were scored, passes made, and red faces flourished quickly. Coaches yelled out positive feedback and encouragement to their players. At the end of each period, teams huddled up and coaches gave both group and individual feedback. At each break, coaches made sure all players drank water as the gym was particularly warm.  At the end of the game, teams shook hands, debriefed the game, and went into the locker rooms. 
Coaches run a time out!

        During our visit, PC staff reflected on the Project Coach model, how easy it is to replicate in new places, and how exciting it is for younger children to be coached by teens. Many of the coaches, players and staff we spoke to explained how having PC at BCNY gave the teens more of a reason to stay connected to the club and the younger children really looked up to their coaches. We watched teen coaches utilizing behavior management skills, coaching voice, and elements of positive youth coaching to create an exciting and fun atmosphere for children. The opportunity that Project Coach provides both teens and young players is truly incredible and we could not be happier to spread this opportunity to new locations.

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