“Why do you think some of the girls were distracted today? What can we do to engage them? How can we get all the girls actively participating?” These are the questions my co-coaches and I ask each other. We ask them to make sure all of the girls are having fun, and we ask them to make sure we meet each individual girl’s needs.
Over the course of my time as a coach, I have learned to adjust programming to meet each girl’s individual needs. At Girls in the Game we encourage our coaches to modify the curriculum to better support our girls. As a coach I have learned that our girls are unique and come from diverse backgrounds; so I need to be able to respond to each of the girls differently and provide a safe, enjoyable and individualized environment.
I plan to carry these ideas with me when I graduate and become a physical educator. At Girls in the Game it is not about just getting through the curriculum, but about how the curriculum impacts the girls. As coaches we need to have an understanding of the girls’ individual needs so they all are able to succeed and learn. My teaching philosophy has definitely grown and developed during my time as a coach. In my future profession I will meet many different children, and because of that I need to be able to embrace their differences and be creative with my coaching.
In our programs we focus on the “whole girl.” This means that each girl has their own story to tell, and it is my goal to help them embrace their uniqueness, find their self-identity and be not only leaders, but gamechangers. I strive to be vital in the way I coach, because when I was a girl in the game, that is what my coaches did for me. My Girls in the Game coaches showed me how to embrace my background and my differences and turn that into the person I am today. And when I learned to embrace my own differences, I learned how to embrace the differences of those around me as well.
As coaches we have to remember how children learn. If a girl can’t learn the way we teach or coach, then we should adjust our style. Students learn through emotions, movement and activities. Students should learn without realizing they are even learning, and learning should be enjoyable. The secret to coaching and educating is to have respect for the girls and who they are as individuals.
At Girls in the Game coaches are vital. I am proud to say that we boldly embrace change, respond to the needs of girls and are passionately driven towards excellence in everything we do.