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News - Details

US Soccer/US State Department Niger Coaches Visit to FYSA


Thursday, January 23, 2020 - Auburndale, FL

Author: Mark Godwin, Assistant Director of Coaching for FYSA

The one thing about the great game of soccer is that there are no boundaries and no end to development. This was certainly evident in January with the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Baltimore and following that wonderful event, FYSA had a very unique visit with 12 coaches from the country of Niger.

U.S. Soccer in conjunction with the U.S. State Department coordinated with FYSA to host these coaches for a day and share some of the things that make coaching here in the United States unique with an emphasis on parent engagement. After a quick welcome and introduction from Mike Strickler, FYSA Director of Coaching, Mark Godwin, Assistant Director of Coaching – Grassroots/Recreation, presented on Grassroots Coaching Education and Parent Engagement. It was very interesting to hear some of the issues that the Niger coaches have in their own environment and try and find solutions with what we do here in Florida.

The interactions were amazing and extremely interesting with the fact the group's first language is French, but we had professional translators to help us find common ground. At the end of the day, there were several similarities with what we do and also trying to achieve with the game of soccer.

We finished the meeting with an introduction to FYSA’s new Executive Director, Joel Dragan, who shared with the group information about his role and insight moving forward for FYSA.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience in which both groups gained something to take back and share for the continued growth of the greatest game around the world.