“Building safe soccer spaces begins with the grassroots. It’s essential that we start education early, and that means training our youth soccer coaches with the skills they need. We’re proud to join Common Goal in leading the way in the fight against racism and discrimination in soccer in the United States.”
– Mike Geddes, Chief Purpose OfficerWatch the Promo
Every child deserves the right to play and feel welcome in the game. Youth soccer coaches need the skills and confidence to create safe spaces for diverse groups. Let’s Switch the Pitch.
Switch the Pitch presented by Oakland Roots is a professional development opportunity for youth soccer clubs, coaches and players. Led by soccer and social justice experts Soccer Without Borders, Switch the Pitch will bring together 50 coaches who want to learn how to build stronger, more inclusive environments for their clubs, players and families.
This opportunity includes:
1. Inclusive Coaching Training Series: Through a combination of in-person learning and virtual workshops, coaches are equipped with the tools, skills and information needed to build an inclusive team culture and facilitate team conversations about social justice issues. Coaches will also gain facilitation and debriefing skills that will support them to implement Switch the Pitch Team Challenges, while exploring their own understanding of racial justice and inclusion.
2. Team Challenges: At the heart of Switch the Pitch are 36 “Team Challenges” across themes of Inclusive Coaching, designed for coaches to implement with their players on the field, sparking discussion and building positive, inclusive team culture. Through Team Challenges, coaches will put training concepts into practice on the field, with the opportunity to debrief and share their experience.
3. Virtual League: Teams earn points and prizes for completing Team Challenges in a ‘virtual league’ showcasing the collective power of youth soccer to address important social justice issues in the Bay Area.
Switch the Pitch will help you build and maintain a safe inclusive environment for youth clubs through integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) professional development into soccer coaching in a unique, active and fun way. And it is completely FREE to Oakland Roots club partners.
Full participation = 18 hours of training over 3 months plus 16 hours of experiential learning integrated right into your team’s activities.
In return, you’ll gain:
Plus, you’ll get:
“I started using the Switch the Pitch curriculum with my team in the fall of 2021, and, in just a few months, noticed a change in how my players interacted with each other, dealt with adversity, and expressed their feelings. What was most exciting to me though was watching my players’ curiosity grow. They wanted to know more about the world around them
and their place in it.”
-Matt Fondy, Oakland Genesis Co-Founder