October 30, 2008

Colorado Rapids' players in our schools!

Pictured left is Conor Casey, one of the Rapids' players who visited an America SCORES Denver soccer practice last week! Rapids' players and SCORES students alike had a great time, as drills were practiced, and new skills introduced for the kids to try out.

Pictured below are some action shots from the visits!

Students at Munroe Elementary had a chance to watch goalie Preston Burpo, and defender Facundo Erpen model some drills to practice for improvement of their game. They then scrimmaged, while Preston and Facundo gave out some helpful hints...

Students at Barnum Elementary had a chance to interact with goalie Bouna Coundoul and Mike Petke, who played a lot of drill games, and even got Coach Olivas in on the action! Just below, Bouna tests out the juggling skills of Coach Olivas, which the kids love!

Just above: the Barnum boys and girls team, Coach Olivas, Bouna Coundoul and Mike Petke.

And a few more!

Munroe students practicing head balls! And Bouna getting the Barnum team ready to show some school spirit!

October 29, 2008

SCORES Student Poetry!

America SCORES Denver students have been writing some GREAT poetry this season! Here are two SCORES specific acrostics written by girls from Cowell Elementary...

Ready for a game
Everyone works for the team
Soccer girls rule!
-Macey, Cowell Elementary


Super fun
Ready to play
Every game is fun
So cool!
-Jovana, Cowell Elementary

Stay tuned for more poetry to come!

October 28, 2008

Keeping Perspective...

Winning is Great, but it’s Not the Goal!
Pam Richmond Champagne, MCC, The Sports Parenting Coach

Recently the parent of an aspiring athlete told me it seemed “almost un-American” to say winning is not the goal. In fact, many would say we compete in a “win-at-all-costs” environment. Is this helping or hurting our kids’ performances and lives? Naturally we all prefer to win, but this is a critical distinction: winning is a byproduct or a consequence, not a goal.

Paradoxically you increase your odds of winning when you place 100% attention, not on winning, but on the process –
the learning and development, the continual movement toward mastery. During competition this means having a moment-to-moment, concentrated focus on executing skills and maintaining a positive attitude.
John Naber, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, exemplifies this vital concept. He shares, “My goal was never to win a race. My goal was to be the best I could be that day.” Disturbing news stories and studies show a focus on winning can produce un-sportsmanlike behavior, outright dishonesty, and unethical use of dangerous drugs.

Focusing on the outcome also
decreases performance. It leads the performer away from the power of the present moment and creates performance-lowering tension by putting attention on something not under a player’s direct control. I vividly recall one of my tennis matches that is a perfect illustration. In a close three-set final, I was just one game away from winning my match when all of my attention went to the outcome –winning the tournament. My strokes fell apart, I made a series of dumb errors, and the championship title slipped away.

As a parent you can help your child stay focused on the process.
How? Be interested in what she’s learning about herself and what skills she’s developing. Find out what he enjoys about his sport. Most importantly, model this process orientation for your child. You certainly don’t have direct control over how well your athlete performs, but you do have control over how calm you are, during and after your child’s performance, what you say, and how encouraging you are. Next time you find yourself getting frustrated or annoyed at your child’s performance, ask yourself, what am I trying to control that I don’t have control over? Then zero in on what you can control. And remind yourself the winning focus is on the learning and the fun!

Pam’s Point: There’s a huge gap between loving to win and having to win, between
competing to do our best and competing to be “the best

(This Article and others like it can be viewed at http://www.karldewazien.com, in the "Ask Karl" section.)

October 23, 2008

Helpful Resources for Parents...

Children face disappointment an average of 27 times per day (responsiblesports.com).
Playing sports and learning to work with others presents kids with daily opportunities to face differing types of adversity.

As parents and coaches, it can sometimes be tough to know what to say or do for kids when tough things happen in their lives. Here are some books that could be of valuable resource:

The Double Goal Coach- By Jim Thompson (Founder, Positive Coaching Aliance)

Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self Esteem Through Sports - By Jim Thompson (Founder, Positive Coaching Alliance)

Shooting in the Dark: Tales of Coaching and Leadership- By Jim Thompson (Founder, Positive Coaching Alliance)

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Lives of Adolescent Girls- By Mary Pipher

101 Ways to be a Terrific Sports Parent- Joel Fish

Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players and Parents- By Cynthia Lair

Raise a Team Player: Teaching Kids Lasting Values on the Field, on the Court, and on the Bench- By Harry Sheehy, Dan Peary, and Joe Torre

The Baffled Parents Guide to Coaching Youth Soccer- By Bobby Clark

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and A Dream- By H.G. Bissinger

Season of Life- By Jeffrey Marx

Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood- By William Pollack

(List can be found online at http://www.responsiblesports.com/resource_center/responsible_sport_parenting_bookshelf.aspx)

October 21, 2008

Colorado Rapids player appearances this week!

America SCORES Denver students show their excitement (left) at meeting and talking with Colorado Rapids player Conor Casey.

This week, three of our schools will get the chance to have a Colorado Rapids player attend their soccer practices to give tips and answer any questions the kids may have. This is an excellent chance for SCORES students to meet some positive role models with a similar passion for soccer as their own!

Stay tuned for more pictures, as well as informative articles detailing the importance of positive community role models in the lives of our children!

October 17, 2008

Philanthropy News Digest article

Posted on October 8th, 2008 in the online version of Philanthropy News Digest:

Shortfalls in Children's Health Tied to Parents' Income, Education, Report Finds

Substantial shortfalls in the health of children based on family income and education are widespread across the country and in every state, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America finds.

The report, America’s Health Starts With Healthy Children: How Do States Compare?, found that 16 percent of children age 17 and younger are in less than optimal health based on their parents’ descriptions — a rate that varies widely across states from a high of 22.8 percent in Texas to a low of 6.9 percent in Vermont. The report also found that some 40 percent of U.S. children live in poor or near-poor households, while 30 percent live in middle-income households.

Nationally and in nearly every state, children in poor families are more likely to be in less than optimal health than children in higher-income families, while in some states children in middle-income families are twice as likely as wealthier children to be in less than optimal health. In Texas, for example, 44 percent of children in poor families are in less than optimal health compared with 6.7 percent of all children in higher-income families.

The report found that one-third of children live in households in which no one has had schooling beyond high school and that children in such households are more than four times as likely to be in less than optimal health as children living with someone who has completed some college. While infant mortality rates are highest among babies born to mothers with no more than twelve years of schooling, the rate for babies born to mothers with thirteen to fifteen years of schooling is 40 percent higher than the rate for babies born to mothers with at least sixteen years.

"All parents want their children to grow up to lead long, healthy lives, but sadly, not all of our children have the same opportunities to reach those goals," said Alice M. Rivlin, co-chair of the commission. "This report shows us just how much a child’s health is shaped by the environment in which he or she lives. We seek to identify ways to narrow these gaps so our nation can put all children on an even path to good health."

Found at: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=229600024

October 13, 2008


The America SCORES Denver Fall season continues to go well, with the fourth official game day coming up this Friday! Here are just a few poems written by SCORES student-athletes, showing their passion for both writing poetry and soccer...

I Remember…
I remember when I started playing soccer.
I remember when I made my first goal.
I remember when I was goalie.
I remember when I blocked the first ball.
I remember when I blocked a penalty kick!
I remember when I kicked a penalty kick!
I remember when I got hurt in soccer.
I remember when I kicked the ball.
I remember when I juggled the ball.
I remember when I kicked the ball.
-Erick, Barnum Elementary

I Am…

I am a soccer ball I can jump up high.
I’m speeding in the air being kicked by many legs
but the best part in the game is going in the net
and scoring for them and being kicked by the keeper.
-Julian, Barnum Elementary

I Am
I am a soccer ball, here I go SWOOSH!
I am the goal net, BAM I got hurt!
I am a head, BAM I hit the ball!
I am a leg, BAM I kick the ball!
I am a hand , SWOOSH I throw in the ball!
I am a predator, BOOM I kick the ball!
I am a porcupine, BOOM I explode the ball!
I am a devil, a devil that turned into an angel
and makes a goal!
-Diego, Barnum Elementary

The Soccer Ball
La pelota corre rapido
Y mas rapido y todos la patean.
Negro y blanco biste la pelota.
Rapido y mas rapido, despues el ultimo la patea
Y no lo van a creer…da un gol.
-Andre, Knapp Elementary