Monday, September 20, 2010

Training Camp, Preseason lead to Week 1 Win

It has been a September to remember at Cabrini Connections. I apologize for my lack of posts recently, but I assure you, I have been keeping busy with the start of the 2010-2011 tutoring season. I am very excited to be returning for a second year as Assistant Coach, during which time I can build on existing relationships and ideas while also meeting new people and exploring new possibilities. Cabrini Connections began its 18th year last week, and EL Da' Sheon ("Coach Nix") and I are determined to make it the best yet.

At the end of last year, we made a commitment to meet over the summer with every student and volunteer who wishes to return to the team. We did this 1) to check-in with matches during what is usually a three month off-season, 2) to receive further feedback about the program and its resources, and 3) to assess all players (students, volunteers, and coordinators). These meetings were tremendously productive and gave us the opportunity to address issues - positive and negative - face-to-face.

Of 62 students currently in the program, we met with 58 (93.5%) this summer. Of 61 volunteers currently in the program, we met with 59 (96.7%) this summer. We also met with volunteer coordinators (4), club leaders (6), and College Zone coordinators (4). Combined, including meetings with volunteers who left the program, Coach Nix and I have met with approximately 150 people since the Year-End Dinner in June.

Two weeks ago, with the start of the season fast approaching, we held preseason orientations as final preparations for our players. Approximately 3/4 of our volunteers and 2/3 of our students were able to attend. We went over the purpose of the program, basic rules and expectations, and we ended each night with a huddle. We broke to the theme for 2010-2011: "My Dreams are My Reality!" On the final night, Norrine Rhodes, parent of 2010 graduate De'Sean Hale and current student De'Jour Stewart, led us out. Watch below.

Huddle Up from Cabrini Connections on Vimeo.

And then it was time for Week 1. First games of the season. What you wait all summer for. And it was a blowout! (Nearly a shutout!) We had matches - new and old- connecting for touchdowns all night. I will let the stats speak for themselves...

Students: 35 out of 37 (94.6%) expected (Two who were absent may not be returning to the program.)
Volunteers: 35 out of 36 (97.2%) expected

Students: 27 out of 31 (87.1%) expected (Phone contact has been made with the four who forgot. They intend to be here next week.)
Volunteers: 29 out of 29 (100%) expected

We are most definitely 1-0 after this performance. Coach Nix and I had high expectations going in and our players met the challenge. Thank you, students and volunteers, for your commitment to the team. I trust that this is going to be a fantastic year. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's take it one week at a time, and hopefully we'll find ourselves hosting the championship trophy at the Year-End Dinner.

*This post was based on EL Da' Sheon's Sports Concepts blog posts.

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