It’s amazing to see the difference a week makes. Our Nicaraguan coaches are amazing. The premise of this new curriculum is to help the students enrolled in the program realize that playing a sport can also teach you a lot about life as well. It began simply today with a contract created by the children based on respect, participation and effort. The life skill for the day was learning how to support each other.
At the beginning of every practice, starting today, each student is given a compañero de cumplidos, or “partner for praise”. Each individual has the responsibility to watch his or her partner throughout practice and think of a compliment to share with them by the end of practice. The group lined up in two straight lines and shook the hand of the person across from them- their new partner for the day today.
And then the playing began. We played two quick games of 4 v. 4 scrimmage. Here are two pictures of the faceoff and a very happy nino after scoring the winning goal.
After the kids were finished played, they met with their partner at different places spread out all over our field. Even though many were shy to give a compliment to a classmate of the opposite sex, Miguel, the coach, and I were eventually able to coax a few encouraging words out of each of them. Each individual couldn’t help but smile as they heard something nice being spoken about them. And I couldn’t help but smile listening to it. Below are partners posing proudly after “praising” each other.