“You’re out!” – two simple words which for any upcoming soccer player, can leave emotional scars to last a lifetime. For anybody, these words can be discouraging, embarrassing and emotionally traumatising. With no services currently directed at addressing this specific issue, how are young players expected to handle this sense of ‘failure’? How can they turn their ‘set-back’ into a healthy, learning experience? How can they be made more resilient towards the issue? Kick Forward is the solution to the problem.
Kick Forward is a tool dedicated to raising awareness and building resilience in competitive soccer players (aged 13-18), who are dropped from their team. Kick Forward responds to this issue through various soccer-based, physical activities and a responding interactive app, which soccer clubs are encouraged to adopt. Upon enrolment to a participating club, all players are provided flyers with a QR code. This is a compulsory handout for players to access the Kick Forward app.
The Kick Forward app’s physical activities involves all team players participating in a warm-up during weekly training. Each week, one player is randomly selected to be benched – likened to being suddenly ‘dropped’. The accompanied app is then accessed for players to reflect on the activity’s outcome through various multiple-choice questions. No matter the activity’s outcome, the Kick Forward app promotes acceptance and resilience for the ‘benched’ player and their fellow players. Each player’s responses can then be accessed by their coaches.
In combination, the activities and app are designed to enhance awareness and resilience in young soccer players, prior to them experiencing being ‘dropped’ from their team. Kick Forward aims to make young players more mentally prepared and resilient towards this issue.
Interested in taking this project further? Contact Dr Gareth Furber at firstname.lastname@example.org.