- Pete and Vanessa Runge
You Say You Want A Revolution...Flagstaff Revolution Soccer!
As the parents of a relatively new soccer player on the Flagstaff Revolution team, we would like to share our experiences for other parents and soccer players interested in potentially being part of this community.
We discovered the Flagstaff Revolution soccer team through friends. Although our son, Charlie, played soccer a few times with seasonal teams in the past, he did not quite connect with the game or players, so we weren’t certain what to expect when Charlie joined Flagstaff Revolution. As you may have guessed, our experience with Flagstaff Revolution not only impressed us but gave Charlie the opportunity to learn a game he truly has a passion for. There are few things that have stood out as making a difference.
The coaches and coaching have been excellent. At the onset, Charlie’s enthusiasm was his strongest asset. His knowledge of the game, its strategies, and his fundamentals were limited. The coaches worked with him to develop his skills and knowledge of the game during his first year using a supportive and encouraging approach. The coaches identified the position(s) that suited Charlie’s natural abilities and interest and helped him understand the responsibilities of the position and its role within the broader context of the team. Over the course of his first year with the team, Charlie’s knowledge of the game, his position, and fundamental skills developed beyond our expectations. During his second year, we watched his development continue to grow. Now he’s playing with confidence, a stronger knowledge of the game and deeper understanding of the core skills. Not only have we observed this with Charlie, but we’ve watched the same developmental process occur with the other kids who joined the team this year.
The coaches often use the term “Revolution Family” to describe the team (players and parents). They have worked hard to develop a culture of family and community on the team. Prior to joining, Charlie only knew one of the players on the team, but the other players were quick to bring Charlie into the fold. During his first year, the coaches (Kirk and Joe), teammates, and even parents were helpful and encouraging of Charlie (sidebar, several of the parents have played or play soccer and are very knowledgeable). Speaking of parents, several of the parents volunteer their time and expertise to support the team and the players throughout the season. They’re also quick to introduce themselves and welcome parents of new team members. We are truly a “Revolution Family!”
Beyond teaching the kids how to play the game of soccer, the coaches spend time teaching the kids sportsmanship. Being competitive and winning is an important part of any athletic endeavor, and certainly the coaches want the kids to enjoy winning games. However, they also instill a sense of sportsmanship as a valued part of the game. This manifests itself in the way the kids support each other on and off the field. At tournaments, we’re impressed with and proud of how the kids on Flagstaff Revolution play with passion, fairness, and respect. Losing is a difficult outcome to accept, but win or lose, Coaches Kirk, Joe, and Ben mentor the kids to acknowledge and thank their opponents after every game, and to also reflect on the positive plays during the game to support growth.
We have also come to appreciate that the coaches are parents too and understand that there are life demands on each family beyond soccer. If a player is unable to attend practice, scrimmage, or a tournament, the coaches only ask that you communicate this to them. The Flagstaff Revolution families are exceptional at communicating within the team! There is no pressure or penalty for having other commitments in your life. Several of the kids on the team play other sports and the coaches understand and support that by always making sure these kids are part of and have a place on the team.
It’s really been a pleasure to watch our son’s ability and passion for soccer grow over the past two years. The Flagstaff Revolution team has been instrumental in his development as player and person.