How to Develop Proactive Thinking by Playing Soccer

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Our free weekly soccer program over the summer was a big hit with up to 60 players attending each week. We provided an opportunity for youth to enjoy competitive recreation and receive weekly lessons on personal development delivered by our Youth Committee mentors.

Each activity we plan for our youth has an outcome we hope to achieve. Sometimes it may be the development of a particular skill, leadership trait, or developing a more positive, growth-oriented mindset.

In the case of playing soccer, we learned that it is an incredible way for youth to develop their their proactive thinking.

Proactive thinking: Soccer is a great method for teaching youth to always think ahead (to create an effective team strategy), anticipate what might happen next (to outsmart the competition), and prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunity (to score a goal).

Wayne Gretzky has a famous statement that relates to this that is often quoted in business training and career development programs. He said “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” If we replace the the ‘puck’ with a soccer ball the analogy still works.  Soccer teaches us to think proactively and this mindset will continue to benefit youth as they continue to mature into adults for the future.

We plan to continue running this program into the school year and sustain it all year round.

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