The seatbelt sign flashed on and the flight attendant announced that there were 20 minutes until we landed in Dublin! As we came closer to the airport, all I could see were fields of green spreading throughout the entire window view. It was even more beautiful than I could have imagined! After collecting all of our bags, we caught a bus to Belfast for our week of coach training at Ulster University. Having never been to Ireland or anywhere in Europe before, it was so cool driving on the opposite side of the road! I will definitely have to get used to that. Finally, all 23 Victory Scholars reunited at the Sport Changes Life headquarters. After months of anticipation, we were all here together and ready to start our journey! Each day we learned about all of the little components that come into play when coaching or working with kids. For example, ways of keeping all levels of players included and challenged in each drill or structuring games in a way that will make the clinic run smoothly! We learned so much from all the activities we did, which ended up bringing us closer together as a family as well!
We were able to test out our new techniques at the EHoops clinic at the end of the week. It was a blast! It was amazing getting to know so many incredible people! There were plenty of students who had no idea how to play the game of basketball. This made teaching them and seeing improvements in just one session so rewarding to me! Although there were some girls in my group who were a wee bit timid, the supportive and positive environment allowed them to step out of their comfort zone and try something new! After a few mess-ups, they continued to do the drills and ended up succeeding. Within just 30 minutes they became more confident. After the basketball portion of the clinic the kids got a chance to show us a thing or two about football (or soccer in the United States). There were some very talented players who were able to give me pointers! After this one experience during the first week in Ireland, I am starting to see the real meaning of “Sport Changes Life”. Not only am I excited to inspire others through sport, but also I’m so excited to see how others inspire me!