The Boston Breakers are creating a groundbreaking instructional video series for parents and coaches, combining expert advice on the unique coaching needs of girls with the latest training advances for preventing the serious injuries increasingly associated with young female athletes.
The Breakers, one of America’s premier women’s professional soccer teams, today launched a campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to support the project.
“We believe this project will address a critical need,” said Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard. “America has the best female soccer players in the world, and soccer gives girls benefits that last a lifetime. But only if it’s taught the right way.”
There are currently hundreds of books, videos, courses, and online resources devoted to coaching youth soccer. Remarkably, almost none of it is aimed specifically at girls - despite a growing body of research that shows girls have unique needs when it comes to successful coaching techniques and injury prevention.
The Kickstarter campaign: “Beautiful: Teaching Girls Soccer the Boston Breakers Way” can be found by following this link:
The campaign will fund two versions of the project, a Coaches Edition and a Parents Edition. The project will be available in both DVD and online format and will address issues including:
● How girls process coaching information differently than boys.
● Why differences in their motivations for participating in sports are important.
● How girls mature socially faster than boys, making team dynamics critical.
● Why soccer girls get more concussions than any young athletes except boys who play football (more than boys who play soccer, lacrosse, or even ice hockey).
● Why teenage girls are up to 8 times more likely than boys (especially in soccer) to suffer significant knee injuries, and how early prevention can reduce risks.
Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole will play a key role in creating the project, along with nationally-recognized experts in the fields of coaching and sports medicine. Current Breakers and US Women’s National Team stars like Sydney Leroux, Heather O’Reilly and Cat Whitehill will also be featured.
The Kickstarter campaign follows this year’s announcement of the new Boston Breakers Academy, a developmental program that partners with local soccer organizations to provide high-quality, girl-specific instruction.
“When you teach soccer, you’re not just teaching a game, you’re teaching about life,” Cole said. “It’s not just techniques and tactics - it’s about teaching girls to love sports and make soccer a healthy part of their lives. It’s about teaching the complete girl.”
The Breakers restart word-class soccer play next month - the inaugural season of the new National Women’s Soccer League - with star players drawn from the women’s national teams of the US, Canada, and Mexico. While the national soccer federations of the three countries are supporting the league by paying player salaries, initiatives like the “Beautiful” Kickstarter campaign are also critical to the long term success of both the Breakers and the league.
The video series will be produced by The Word Syndicate, a Newton-based production company that specializes in buzzworthy and inspiring video content.
Ralph Ranalli, The Word Syndicate’s owner and executive producer, is a soccer parent, a soccer coach and the president of Newton Girls Soccer, a non-profit, municipal-based soccer club that is the largest girls-only program in New England.
The Breakers open their season on Sunday, April 14 against the Washington Spirit. The team plays its home games at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.
More information about the Breakers, including information about the team’s 2013 schedule and tickets, can be found at www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com.