“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.”

– Alice Walker

Power & Policies

This module is all about shedding light on who has power, determining how they’re using it, and doing what we can to hold those in power accountable. We will start by asking coaches to examine their own power and asking players to do the same.

One of the things that makes inclusive coaching different from what we may think of as “traditional coaching” is that inclusive coaches embrace the opportunity to give away power.  Inclusive coaches admit when they make mistakes, they apologize to their players, and they show vulnerability and authenticity. Where some coaches may not like the lack of power they have during games, inclusive coaches know this is where players can really grow and thrive

This willingness to examine systems of power, to challenge how existing policies either reinforce or work to dismantle historically unjust power systems is how inclusive coaching becomes anti-racist coaching.

In this module, teams will practice identifying unfairness and figuring out how to find and influence power to make change. As changemakers, we have the ability to address injustice in many places beyond the pitch. This is the power we all hold.

Key Coaching Points


We must each recognize the ways in which we have power, and the ways in which we lack power


We are more powerful in groups working collectively than as individuals


We must ensure that people in positions of power are good representatives of those they serve, and are held accountable by transparent systems and advocacy

Coach Training: Key Resource

The Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative (REJI) Organizational Race Equity Toolkit is designed to help organizations understand and incorporate race equity into their work. For Switch the Pitch coaches, we recommend two specific parts of the toolkit:

  • Tool C – The Race Equity Culture Continuum for Organizations will help coaches place their clubs and organizations’ race equity efforts into context and identify clear next steps to move toward a more equitable and inclusive set of organizational policies and practices.
  • Tool D – Community Agreements that create the space needed to have productive conversations about race equity. These agreements could be used with your teams or clubs.
Just Lead Washington REJI Toolkit
Community Agreements for conversations about race equity

Team Challenges

Stories from the Field

Power and Policies

In this challenge, players will draw on real-life examples from the soccer world to engage in meaningful discussion about the way power and policies create inequity in soccer



Power Structure Ecosystem

In this activity, players will each read through an interactive presentation at home before having a team debrief at the following practice



Finding Your Power

In this activity, teams will explore the concept of power and its ability to impact different environments through a possession drill where certain teams are given powers that give them an advantage



Who Makes the Rules?

Using a small-sided scrimmage, teams will examine the dynamics between those in power and the rules they make and reflect on how those decisions impact all of us



Accountability for You and Me

This challenge helps to create, codify, and uphold accountability measures within your team, club, and community



Challenging the Structures

In this challenge, players will have an opportunity to feel empowered and advocate for their team during a practice or game


Stories from the Field

Kneeling Ban Lifted

US Soccer Kneeling During Anthem

  1. Why was it so important to give this decision back to the athlete?
  2. How does the perspective and outburst of Seth Jahn hurt future progress?
  3. What does it mean to be ‘past the protesting stage?’ And what comes next?

USL: United Against Racism

United Against Racism

  1. What stands out to you about the approach the USL is taking in its United Against Racism efforts?
  2. How do an organization’s (or team’s) rules and policies impact culture?

An Open Letter from Fire Vice President of Equity, Alumni Relations, and Engagement Evan Whitfield

  1. Why is it so important for professional teams to have people like Evan Whitfield in positions of power?
  2. Whitfield writes that he hopes to merge his “utopian desire with a pragmatic approach”. What does he mean by that statement?