Hill House, Inc., an independent, nonprofit community center in downtown Boston has adapted its more than 100-plus enrichment and athletics programs into synchronous virtual learning opportunities, including its travel youth soccer league, United.
Realizing the importance of health and wellness during the COVID-19 shut down, Hill House’s United teams, consisting of approximately 100 players in Grades 3-6 from around the City of Boston, continued their training virtually. Occurring twice a week from player’s homes, these trainings allow participants to keep up and advance their foot skills while navigating the use of small spaces.
Working with Hill House’s top coaches, Coach Pat, Coach Mike and Coach Jonny, players have welcomed the change and continued to excel in the sport.
“The transition has gone smoother than we imagined,” said Hill House Athletics Director Marshall Caldera. “Our coaches are being creative with exploring everything you can do with limited supplies and limited space. They also emphasize real-time interaction with peers and coaches, speaking to different players throughout the session to keep them engaged. In a lot of ways, the focus level has been higher than when they’re all in person during live practices.”
The change also has been welcomed by parents of players.
“Coach Pat was engaging. His lesson was well planned and physically demanding. The training drills were excellent and the instruction was clear over the Zoom call. I was closely watching the session and I got inspired to do my own stretches and drills too! I can tell you [my daughter] was super happy after the session, she would not stop talking about the drills, and she was exhausted. The sessions are a great way for the children not only to work on personal skills, but also to release some of their energy,” said one parent of players in Grade 3 and Grade 5. “I highly recommend all United players participate in the sessions next week.”
Hill House will continue these trainings throughout the spring season, and plan to keep it up during the summer as well for the health and well being of all players and families. For more information about Hill House’s United travel youth soccer teams or any of its other virtual athletic programs, contact Marshall Caldera by email at [email protected] For full listings or more information about all of Hill House’s virtual spring programming including enrichment and athletics, visit http://www.hillhouseboston.org.