Young Coaches Attend Urban Youth Leadership Summit

CNSF builds on it's community outreach program

Pictured at right are the four young coaches CNSF sponsored to the Urban Soccer Collaborative’s Youth Leaders Summit. From left to right are Melvin Portillo, Monica Chavez, Jeniffer Barahona and Wilbur Gomez flanked by officers Albert Cruz and Sally McGowan.

Pictured at right are the four young coaches CNSF sponsored  to the Urban Soccer Collaborative’s Youth Leaders Summit. From left to right are Melvin Portillo, Monica Chavez, Jeniffer Barahona and Wilbur Gomez flanked by officers Albert Cruz and Sally McGowan. Melvin, Monica, Jeniffer and Wibur have played key supporting roles for the past year in officer Cruz and McGowan’s community outreach program in Springfield Virginia.

Urban Youth Summit Teaches the Leaders of Today

Some say that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. The Urban Soccer Collaborative (USC) would disagree with that statement as we believe that youth are the leaders of today. We believe that they possess a passion and creativity that cannot be measured. These young people have the power to transform their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Because of this belief, the USC hosted the Urban Soccer Youth Leaders’ Summit from August 4 to August 7, 2009. This two and half day event took place in various locations throughout the Washington D.C. metro area. The goal of the Summit was to bring together youth leaders who are currently participating in grassroots programs that are using soccer as a tool for youth development. Each student was required to complete an application process and was selected based on that application and his or her program director’s recommendation.

The 22 youth leaders who participated (14 boys and 8 girls) ranged in age from 13 to 19 and represented eight grassroots programs from five states and the District of Columbia. Each student participated in coaching education workshops, field training sessions, service learning seminars and goal setting sessions. In addition to the “work” component of the program, the schedule provided time for “play” including an evening tour of the Nation’s monuments and a trip to the International Spy Museum. The well-rounded program was designed to encourage and help these young people develop their leadership and coaching skills, providing them with concrete tools they can use to enhance their local programs.

The coaching education workshops focused on how to develop and design a practice session and identifying different player characteristics. Participants were divided into coaching teams and instructed to prepare and deliver a practice session focused on a specific age and skill level.

As with any good educational experience, the participants did not walk away empty- handed. Through their goal setting and service learning seminars each student left with personal goal setting plans. They also developed preliminary outlines for creating short-term service projects once they returned to their local programs. These service projects will be student lead and focus on education, healthy eating, physical fitness, and community building.

Another major outcome of the Summit will be the development of the USC’s National Youth Council. This youth council will serve side by side with the USC’s leadership to design and implement the USC’s youth development programming which centers around leadership, coaching education, and service learning.

All staff members agreed that the Summit was an inspirational event and we look forward to expanding the Summit in 2010 into what will be he Inaugural Urban Soccer Youth Leaders’ Institute. If you would like to be a part of this amazing program, please contact Karen Pope, The Urban Soccer Collaborative Managing Director: 703.509.3626 or

See a YouTube video about the Summit here.