1.4 Onside Soccer - Onside Goals Programme
A key element of the Onside Soccer philosophy is that young peoples’ universal passion for football can be used as a means to develop in them the positive attitudes they require to go on to transform their own lives and communities. To this end, each training session contains a mentorship element, highlighting lessons that can be learned from sport and translated into lessons for use in everyday life.
The mentorship programme, ‘Onside Goals’, was compiled by the Onside team to comprise 15 interactive talks which can be delivered to players during the rest periods of their football training sessions. Two versions of the mentorship programme have been written, allowing coaches the choice between using either Biblical based or secular presentations.
Each of the talks lasts approximately 10-15 minutes and focuses on positive qualities found while playing sports, which are then translated into ‘everyday life’ context. For example, one session examines how working as a ‘team player’ can enhance individuals and communities, both on and off the pitch. Coaches use an interactive style to discuss with the children how they felt they had been working as a team during the training session. The integral elements of teamwork, such as communication and supporting colleagues, would then be explored, and a practical application is given to assist the young people in translating these positive qualities to their everyday lives.
The response to the Onside Goals mentorship programme so far has been very positive, with many children engaging keenly and positive feedback being received from parents and teachers alike.
“Since they started attending the Onside Soccer Academy, the children who I teach have been much better behaved and their attitude is really good. They really respect the coaches and listen to what they have to say and that has translated into school. We are very happy for them to attend football training and it has been a very positive addition into their lives.”
Teacher from Christ Church School, Chennai