The gorgeous sunshine on Friday afternoon was the perfect setting to witness the distribution of soccer knowledge from one Friends School generation to another, as the girls’ varsity soccer team held its first ever Big Sisters Day.
In the one hour practice session, players from the lower and middle school were given the chance to be instructed by the heroes they see in the halls everyday in the drills and gameplay they will one day experience at the high school level.
“We want to instill what we do at the varsity level at the middle school level,” Quakers’ head coach Nick Gill said. “I would like the middle school program to start using and getting used to the same concepts we use at the varsity level, that way, by the time they get into the upper school, they are already ahead of the game; they already have seen some of the things we use in a typical training session, so they will be able to adapt quicker.”
With the middle school and lower school coaches at hand, the varsity stars took to a number of different drill stations, breaking down the workouts’ concepts and teaching the skills to the up-and-coming stars.
From ball control drills, to relay races and live situations, girls as young as the third grade and up to the junior varsity level participated under the instruction of the varsity squad, getting familiar with the drills and upper-level talent while having a good time.
“It teaches my girls a sense of leadership,” Gill said, handing the reigns over to the varsity team for one practice. “They have been through these drills all year with me, so they know how to run them. It is really showing them how to be leaders and giving the middle school and lower school girls a chance to meet their heroes.
“They look up to these girls. They see them in the halls, they watch them score big goals, and the main point is if you come out here and work hard, this could be you someday.”
Quaker junior Emma Sissman was one of the many varsity girls to be helping in the day’s activites, and said it was simply enjoyable to be able to be a part.
“It is really nice actually, we don’t really get to see the middle schoolers ever,” Sissman explained. “It is a good way to build the program from the bottom up.
“It gives the kids something to look forward to and to look up to. They’ll want to be on the varsity team when they get into high school, and this is a way for them to see how we play and the drills we do.”
But above all the preparation and athletic skill Gill is trying to bridge with the event, he still says there is a bigger reason for the practice session.
“The main point is to bring the Friends community together,” Gill said. “I want the older and younger girls alike to get a sense of how great it is to have a sense of community; to bring everyone out in one setting and have all the girls have a good time together.”
(To view video highlights from the Big Sisters Day, see the Related Videoz link at the top)