L.A.C.E.S.’s programs began last month. With each new season, there are more children, new staff, and exciting challenges. Training is an essential component of each new season, since it allows new coaches—who are all volunteers—to learn from current staff and mentors about the organization and how to implement L.A.C.E.S.’s philosophy.
The volunteers receive training in both mentoring and coaching. The technical team, comprised of the National Director and the Mentoring Manager, is responsible for conducting a three-day workshop. The workshop is designed to introduce all the new coaches to the program activities and provide the mentors who have previously volunteered with the organization a chance to refresh their minds.
The workshops focus on several different aspects of coaching and mentoring. One of these teaches coaches how to reach out to children who are living on the streets and who have endured difficult upbringings. L.A.C.E.S. staff stresses the idea of becoming a role model to the children in our programs. Of course, the volunteers are also learning ways to help children improve their soccer and kickball skills.
“With the power of soccer, they learn to accomplish positive change in the lives of children both in the homes and in public,” James Moore, the National Director of L.A.C.E.S. said. “In short [the coaches] are learning to raise positive role models in their communities,” he added.
The workshops are also a place for interaction and discussion, which the majority of the coaches seem to enjoy since it provides time to discuss everything that is being taught.
Hanna Nuah is a female graduate of the L.A.C.E.S. Program. She is now serving as a coach for the team she once played for. “Now that I am a coach, I look forward working with my team (Christ The King) in making it the most disciplined…at L.A.C.E.S. The children are my friends and together we will make our community a better place,” she said.