Downtown United Soccer Club values leadership from within as a means to grow the person and the player. This 2018/2019 season we have begun to integrate leadership opportunities for our older Academy players to serve as mentors. This cross age peer mentoring process places older DUSC players in important decision making roles and enables our younger athletes to interact with role their models.
In 2018, DUSC launched programming designed to build culture and connections between the Girls Academy teams as well as provide additional leadership opportunities for players. As the winter season wraps we want to take a moment to highlight some of the events that have taken place so far.
In the fall, DUSC 2006 and high school-aged teams took part in a joint session run by the coaches where players were able to work one-on-one with their younger or older counterparts. In January, the 2007 and 2008 teams had the opportunity to work with the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 teams at the Columbia University Soccer Bubble. The session was led by the older players with the coaches filling the roles of assistant and facilitator.
Throughout the winter high school-aged players have joined younger teams during regular training sessions. While the coaches facilitated these sessions, it was the high school players who took the lead planning and running the activities.
As we look to the spring season events continue with the second annual Girls Spring Kick-Off Clinic. The coaching staff for the clinic will be all female and include older DUSC players who will work alongside the head coaches.
Quotes from Our Players:
"I loved how interested the younger players were with the activities being conducted! I was also quite surprised with their skill level, and the different moves they knew!" - Eva 2002
"The girls were really fun and were helping us and I want them again. They were teaching us things and had fun activities to do.” - Imogen 2009
“I love how much energy the girls had! I was excited to use the knowledge I have gained as a player, since being that age, and to help run such a fun session!” - Kyra 2000