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Sharing helpful information, special offers and fun ideas with the i9 Sports family
May 25, 2018
Phillip and Tania are a husband and wife i9 Sports soccer coaching duo and proud parents of two soccer fanatics: Vincent, age 9, and Evan, age 7. The family has been with i9 Sports for 4 years and game day is a highlight of the week for all. In fact, they have quite the fun game day routine! We love their enthusiasm and wanted to give you a peek into their lives, as well as an i9 Sports soccer program, on a typical game day.

 

Pre-Game
The alarm goes off. It’s game day! Phillip and Tania climb out of bed eager to head to the gym. They have no problem waking their sons, Vincent and Evan, who are excited to flip on the TV and begin watching Premier League soccer.  Phillip and Tania take turns watching their sons and working out.  Vincent and Evan get riled up for gameday while playing FIFA soccer and getting dressed for their soccer practice and match. They pull on their jerseys, sporting their lucky numbers, and lace up their Lionel Messi cleats. Phillip knows how important it is for the entire family to be properly fueled for the day ahead and prepares a healthy breakfast for Vincent and Evan as Tania returns from the gym, smoothie in hand, ready to hit the field.
 
 
 
Practice
Phillip and Tania switch from “mom and dad” into “coach” when they reach the field. Phillip and Tania ensure that all their players are consistently treated with equal attention and Vincent and Evan know the importance of respecting their coaches, even when it isn’t mom and dad. Before the players get on the field, Phillip and Tania discuss the sportsmanship value of the week with the team.  Vincent, Evan and their teammates learn and recite the weekly value as a group and then get to work warming up and practicing the fundamentals.  Many of the players have been together for several seasons and have built a strong bond as a team. The team runs drills on dribbling, passing and shooting while Tania and Phillip help keep their team’s parents engaged by sharing knowledge about strategy and techniques to watch for during the game. Phillip and Tania review some final strategies with the team and keep the players’ energy high as game time approaches. Vincent knows the key to success is “to stay focused throughout the game!”
 
 
Game Time
The team carries the energy they’ve built up during practice onto the field as the game begins.  The game is their opportunity to implement the techniques they practiced earlier in the day and show that they know how to use the strategies they learned.  With the practice and coaching tips fresh in their mind, they hit the field prepared to do their best. Vincent and Evan are a force to be reckoned with on the field, earning them the nicknames “Thunder & Lightning.” They put in maximum effort through all four quarters and constantly encourage their teammates. From the sidelines, Phillip and Tania keep things positive and give light instruction to the players, pumping them up and making sure they see open opportunities.
 
 
Post Game Huddle
Win or lose, Evan remarks that the most important thing is to “be happy, no matter what happens!”  Phillip and Tania gather the team and parents together and congratulate the players on all their hard work. The coaches stay positive and focused on what went well during the game, making sure to recognize the moments when players executed things they learned in practice. The players are given the opportunity to go over what they learned that day and once again recite the value of the week. The coaches award one player with the weekly Sportsmanship Award and explain how that player demonstrated the week’s value during the game. The parents and the whole team join in on congratulating the Sportsmanship Award winner in a tidal wave of smiles and cheering. The players, tired but happy, gather their belongings and head home for the day. 

 
The Ride Home
As the family enjoys the ride home, Phillip and Tania are filled with a sense of pride, as both parents and coaches, for the values their sons demonstrated on an off the field. One moment in particular sticks out in Phillip’s mind as he recalls his oldest son Vincent taking the initiative to cheer up players from the opposing team after a loss.
 
At the Junior level at i9 Sports, we focus on providing instruction that helps this age group develop motor skills as well as team dynamics. We are committed to both teaching the sport as well as instilling the value of good sportsmanship at all ages. Most importantly, we want all of our families to have fun and make memories that will last a lifetime. We’re certain Vincent and Evan will have a lot of stories to tell about their soccer days with us! And that makes us very proud.

For more information on an i9 Sports soccer program near you click here
May 01, 2018
No one wants to see their child suffer, so as the weather begins to warm up, make sure your child is prepared to handle hot game days and you are prepared to recognize the signs of heat-related illness. At i9 Sports, safety is a priority and as a parent, you know your child best. If you notice your child displaying any of these warnings signs, never hesitate to take them out of their game to help remedy the situation. 


 
March 30, 2018
Make sure your child is geared up and ready to go for gameday! It is important that everything fits properly and they are comfortable from head to toe. This will allow your child to enjoy having fun without the distraction of discomfort. Baseball pants are not required and you can complete your child's uniform with the official i9 Sports shorts here!
 
March 08, 2018

One of the many things that makes i9 Sports youth leagues unique is our concept of practice and play in the same day. We schedule practice immediately before the game so that the team only meets once a week. Scheduling practice and play in the same day helps kids to build strong bonds with their teammates, allows kids to immediately apply the new skills they’ve learned and is convenient for the busy schedules of parents and players.

Team Building
When kids have the opportunity to practice together as a team immediately before the game it helps them to form stronger bonds with their teammates. As the players work through the fundamentals together in practice they become more comfortable working with one another and they are able to carry the connection they’ve built during practice into the game. Coach and parent Brad Gilchrist states, “pre-game practice time is great for the players to establish teamwork relationships with one another and incorporates the opportunity to teach, develop and foster good teamwork and respect.”  During pre-game practice, coaches are able to provide players and parents with regular positive feedback and also remind the players of the importance of their contribution to the team as a whole.

Instant Application of New Skills
With game time immediately following
practice, kids are able to instantly put into action the skills and values their coaches just taught them. Dixie Hazelbaker, Program Director, states that players are given “the opportunity to apply what they learned during practice while it is still fresh in their minds.”  This helps to reinforce the newly learned skills and values and also helps the players to be even more successful during their game. Kids are able to start their game feeling confident and prepared because they are equipped with skills and knowledge from their pre-game practice.

Convenience
Many parents and players lead busy lives with hectic schedules.  Having
practice and the game scheduled on the same day prevents families from feeling overburdened with too many practices and games during the week.  The concept of practice and play in the same day is especially beneficial for kids who can get “burned out” by too many days spent practicing and playing, or for kids who want to try multiple sports. Having practice on the same day as the game gives players something to look forward to each week and helps kids maintain a high level of enthusiasm for their chosen team sport.

These are just a few of the many benefits of practice and play
in the same day.  i9 Sports is dedicated to creating an environment for kids and parents that is fun and positive while also providing kids with the opportunity to learn and grow. Practice and play in the same day keeps things convenient for families while also allowing players to build strong bonds with their teammates and bring the momentum they’ve built up during practice straight into the game. Click here to find youth sports leagues in your area!

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