Skills for Life

The correlation between soccer and life

Coaches Across Continents uses the power of soccer to teach fundamental abilities necessary to address social issues in a productive, forward-thinking manner. These baseline skills translate naturally from our lives on the soccer field to our lives in the community: they include verbal and nonverbal communication, concentration, teamwork, confidence, awareness, and other capabilities that can and should manifest in our everyday lives. Our curriculum uses these skills to talk about hygiene, employability, literacy, financial literacy, child rights, and other key issues.

Game: Ronaldo Skills for Life

The first game played in any CAC partner program is Ronaldo Skills for Life. This game uses three fun skills involving scissors, fakes, and step-overs that the players learn while shouting out at each turn, “Ronaldo 1!” or “Ronaldo 2!” or “Ronaldo 3!” This game is an easy introduction to communication, teamwork and awareness, and it works equally well anywhere in the world.

One step at a time

One of the most essential aspects of our methodology is the slow progression of our games. Understanding that people do not learn at the same is a crucial step in working with children. Learning the games step-by-step not only builds muscle memory and improves footwork, but works on important life skills such as concentration (learning to match voice instructions with footwork) and confidence (speaking so everyone can hear).

Helping people find their voice

One of the principal upshots of our Skills for Life Module – one that then pervades the rest of our curriculum – is the ability to use one's voice

Whether calling for the ball or shouting out “Ronaldo 1” every time we do the first Ronaldo skill, the power of the voice transcends the boundaries of the soccer field. We have taught these games to partners in Northern Uganda, where former child soldiers are being reintegrated into society after facing the horrors of the LRA. Afraid to speak for fear of being physically or sexually abused, their voices were stifled. Our games and our coaches help them reclaim their voice, their confidence, and their ability to make their own choices in life.

Our Monitoring & Evaluation tells us that 98% of our participants can now use soccer to teach young people to find creative solutions to their problems rather than asking for the answer, up from 27% before our program.