I recently got to know an amazing coach and soccer trainer named Jessy Giordano @jgiotraining who works with some very special girls in Northern New Jersey. We are so excited to partner with Jessy and her girls, supporting the teams as they play this summer! Jessy introduced her girls the PlayItForwardProject and says it meshes perfectly with her philosophy of making better people, not just better players.
Soccer Sisters: How did the girls react when you told them about the PIFP?
Jessy Giordano: They loved the idea! Especially my youngers ones. They kept saying “I know what I can
do!” and coming up with different acts of kindness. They kept thinking about it and talking about all kinds of ideas. I think kids like pleasing other people. When we were making the video, they also wanted to take it home and think about it some more and talked to their parents about it and decided it was also something they were going to do at home. I think making and sharing the video is motivating. I’ve seen it even with my older girls. When they see my training videos they tell me it motivates them to do it at home. I think anyone seeing that video will think, “I just want to do something nice for someone today.”
SS: It looks like a lot of fun to make the video, was it?
JG: It was one of the most fun we’ve had making a video! I wanted to have strangers in it so we just approached people and asked if we could open the door, and even one girl helped an older lady with her groceries. I think they learned a lot and it makes them feel empowered to help and not feel weird about it.
SS: Your focus is on technical skills, but also on building players who have strong character. How does PIFP fit in with your philosophy?
JG: I honestly think they play so much better when they are having fun and feel more comfortable together and when they are supporting and motivating themselves and others. My girls come from all over the place, and many who don’t know each other and the only way they are going to play well is when they are having fun. I want to teach them to help each other, not just on the field, but to help even people they don’t know.
SS: What do you think is the best way to Play It Forward for teams, coaches or parents who want to encourage their kids to engage in acts of kindness?
JG: I think talk to your teams about it. I always pick two captains every week, and switch it up and try to get them to step it up. I want them to be good leaders, good teammates, role models, and mostly a good person.
Follow Jessy here: