• What Does Your Puzzle Look Like?

    January 25th 2016. CAC Volunteer Emily Kruger, goalkeeper for the NWSL Portland Thorns, blogs about our first On-Field Training of 2016 with the Haitian Initiative in Port-au-Prince. 

    CJ explained the second game of day one in Port-au-Prince to the group of 45 Haitian coaches who are in their third year with CAC. He asked them to get into groups of three and spread out around the field, well, actually Denni our incredible translator asked them. As a first timer, I was just participating in the game myself. I got with two others but as I looked around, I saw some pairs standing together. I thought to myself, “how do we solve this problem?” I decided that I could abstain and my two friends could each join a pair. So with few words and lots of gesturing, I made the groups of three happen. I looked to see if Nora, our lead CAC coach, noticed what I’d done, wondering if she would take note of what a good problem solver I was i.e. good coach, right?! Then, during this game of tag where the chase-ee can save themselves by stopping at the side of any trio thereby sending the opposite-outside player of the three to become the chase-ee, the chaser had been chasing all these rotating chase-ees for a long time. It was so hot and I felt for her so I thought to myself again, “how can we (I) solve this problem?” On an impulse I ran towards her to relieve her of her duty, when CJ stopped the activity (I awkwardly just kept running like I was minding my own business). He asked the group, “does anyone see a problem?” Through Denni, the coaches explained that yes, she had been running forever. He then asked, “what can we as coaches do to fix it?” One coach suggested switching her out, as I had thought, and another coach offered adding another chaser to help her. And then it struck me, CAC is all about Self-Directed Learning…being a good coach means supporting others as they create their own solutions, not telling them what you think the solution is. Woah! It was staring me in the face. This was an awesome moment to say the least, and it kept me thinking for the rest of the day.

    We are so wired to tell others what to do and to do what others tell us to do, as well. Parents, teachers, politicians, bosses, coaches, the media…it is rare that we are encouraged to think for ourselves, to be creative, to challenge all of the spoon-fed ideas. And isn’t that the root of so many of our problems: mass groupthink and brainwashing so that we struggle to break the mold? Or maybe it’s human nature to obey, to try to fit the mold. I don’t know. However, I do believe that Self-Directed Learning is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle! For me, the puzzle is the creation of more just and more equal societies where unnecessary human excess and unnecessary human suffering are not commonplace. Hmmm. What does your puzzle look like? And what do you think some solutions could be?

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  • CAC Coach is a National Champion!

    thorns4September 17, 2013.  Yesterday we asked if you knew which one of our coaches currently working in Zimbabwe recently won a national title. (Hint: the four coaches working in Zimbabwe are Sophie LeGros, Jon Dickinson, Dani Foxhoven, and Becca Meierbachtol, and only one of them plays for the Portland Thorns).   And the answer is….. Dani Foxhoven!  Dani was a starter for the Portland Thorns in the championship game as they captured the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship with a 2-0 victory over the Western New York Flash.

    Dani played throughout the season for the Thorns, helping them to the third-seed entering the playoffs.  The final match over the Flash (and all-time leader goal-scorer in women’s soccer Abby Wambach) meant that the city of Portland has it’s first professional championship since 1977.  Shortly after finishing her celebrations, Dani finalized her preparations and jumped onto a plane to work with Coaches Across Continents.  She will be working in Zimbabwe and Tanzania for the next two months, hitting six different communities run by our partner organizations.

    Send Dani and the rest of the Thorns some love by commenting below or by following them on Twitter @ThornsFC!

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  • Meet the Coaches Working In Zimbabwe

    September 16, 2013.  This is the second year for Coaches Across Continents in Zimbabwe.  We will be working with Sport 4 Socialisation in Mutare and with Bulldogs Sport Development Trust in Bindura and Harare.  The CAC team that will be working with these fine programs consist of Sophie LeGros, Jon Dickinson, Dani Foxhoven, and Becca Meierbachtol.  Recently one of these four coaches won a national title – do you know which one?  Answer coming tomorrow…

    Five Fun Football Facts with Jon Dickson:

    Favorite Team: Manchester United
    Favorite Player: Eric Cantona
    Favorite Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson
    Favorite Movie: Old School
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Brazil (2014) and Germany (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “Traveling to a country with completely different cultures, scenery, and values than my own provides an opportunity for cross-learning.  Whilst I hope that my time and energy on the CAC programs will benefit the people I come in to contact with in Zimbabwe, I also look forward to the learning and personal development it will provide for me in return.”   
    40045_419801501898_652096898_5290307_6223486_nFive Fun Football Facts with Dani Foxhoven:

    Favorite Team: Liverpool
    Favorite Player: Messi
    Favorite Coach: Pep Guardiola
    Favorite Movie: Big Fish
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Brasil (2014) and USA (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture and learning from the lifestyles of the people in Zimbabwe and Tanzania”
    BeccaFive Fun Football Facts with Becca Meierbachtol:

    Favorite Team: Portland Thorns
    Favorite Player: Christine Sinclair
    Favorite Coach: Clive Charles
    Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Spain (2014) and USA (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “I am looking forward to learning form the kids and adults we work with and having my eyes opened to a new experience with food, people and cultures.”