Want to be soccer mom or daddy coach?

Nguyen Ngoc Yen Nhi is FFAV’s volunteer coordinator who is responsible for supporting football clubs to involve more support of the community volunteers especially parents. She is now participating in the YSEALI Professional Fellowship Program in America to learn how American football clubs interacting with parents. This is her reflection and what she gained after a month in America. Enjoy reading!

I was so excited to receive the news from YSEALI Professional Fellowship Program about my host organizations which are 2 football clubs named Indie Chicas and Idaho Juniors. Indie Chicas Football club (FC) is providing girls football and is the only girls FC in the northwest. I was so lucky to stay with 2 host families of the Indie Chicas players. Thus, I find it easier for me to gain information from them. Spending the fellowship time with these 2 FCs and 2 families, I think my mentioned expectation above is fulfilled because I have had so many chances to catch up and learn about American parents’ involvement into their kids’ FC.

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My second host family, the Gallegos

To my surprise, the American parents spend much time in supporting their children in physical activities in general and in football in particular. In my host family, the Gallegos, their son plays football in Boise Nationals, and their daughter plays for Indie Chicas FC. As a result, the wife is now the team managers for 2 teams of her kids and the father is the volunteer coach. Brandon, the husband, told me that he is busy of course but his daughter’s development is the reason for him to be a part of the team. And, Whitney, the wife, also spends hours to be the bridge between the FCs and parents with receiving information then updating to parents, preparing logistic, etc. I cannot believe how they can manage the time to devote so much time for their children in playing football. I do know that when the financial condition is good, people tend to think more about the family relationship social responsibility. Still, I am so impressed and feel happy for these kids whose their parent are so close with their development path.

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Brandon Gallegos is the daddy coach for his daughter, Maddie, in Chicas FC

Besides, as my observation in Idaho Juniors FC, parents are also proactive in supporting clubs in raising fund for their children’s FC. In a football camp, the parents cooked the Taco, a Mexican specialty, for all of the players and supporters on the field. In supporting them, I feel the love of the parents toward their children. They sometimes spoke English, sometimes spoke Spanish, sometimes spoke a language that I still don’t know, all of them have the same endless love toward their children and the efforts to raise more fund for their children to play in more tournament and league.

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You want to try Taco? so delicious!!!

Last week, I had the chance to accompany with my host family to travel to Coeur d’Alene for Hotshot tournaments with the participation of 150 football teams from Idaho and Montana with more than 300 matches. With 8 hours driving and 2 nights in hotels, can you believe in your eyes that the field are full of parents and family members who accompany with players to come and cheer for them. I caught many beautiful moments with moms crying when their daughters won the games and gave them flowers on Mother’s Day, with son showing his medals and receiving a hug from his father, with 80 year old Great Grand Nany still coming and cheering for his great grandson, … All of these images just stick really deeply in my heart and make me love them and the moments so much.

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Family photos of Gallegos family

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Soccer moms in Mother’s day

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All games had the adult supporters, even referees also have the daddy to accompany with

I am thankful for the fellowship time being so close with parents and the FCs. I would love to share this information back to my country. Even the parents in two countries are having the different condition and background, I do believe they have the same position in their children’s heart as so called “parents”. I would like to ask one question to our FFAV clubs’ community volunteers: “be the soccer man and coach volunteer, won’t you?”. I wish to receive “yes” from you, the close friends of kid football players.

Nguyen Ngoc Yen Nhi

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