Pure Game Diary: Learning How Soccer – and Life – is Not Just About Winning

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Here’s another update from the field on how lives are being changed through Pure Game…
Walter* is a 4th grader who was sent to my program from a teacher but she told me she wasn’t sure he would be okay to be in the program as he has a lot of behavioral issues during class. 
I, of course, spoke to the teacher to let her know that he should be in the program and that I will work on various character traits with him throughout the program and teach him the star process which can help him make better choices. 
Every week, Walter is the first to run out to the program and is always actively involved with the games. He loves soccer!! He is gifted but can get very competitive and aggressive especially when he and his team is losing. 
One week, he had an issue with one of his classmates who he didn’t think was playing well. Which was a perfect time for me to teach him how to express his emotions through words and ask for help when he needs rather than just act out. He got to observe his teammates working and trying the best they could and practice using positive words to help them play better. 
Another week, he was put on a team that clearly wasn’t his favorite and right from the start was checked out and mad. We spoke about the importance of optimism and how we can’t give up. When he is struggling with class work or loses at another game with friends he has to keep playing because the next game he might win.
Each session, I spend a lot of time with him but have seen a huge improvement with his outlook and behavior since being in the program and going through our curriculum and what is even better is that his classmates enjoy being around him too! 
As a field Champion we get to work with children of all different ages, girls and boys and all ranges of behavior. It is such a joy to see all the kids having fun and growing. I have no doubt that Walter will be successful in anything he puts his mind too and that Pure Game was a big role in that. Many times the kids that act up can get pushed aside and forgotten because they are “too much work” but Pure Game does the opposite- we encourage them, nurture them and build them into their own leaders!! 
Thank you,
Danielle Martell
Field Champion & Director of Programs
*The student’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

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