Student-athletes are always searching for ways to improve at their sports. It’s been said that there is no better way to get better at something than to teach other people what you already know. Many students work for youth sporting programs all around the Bay Area, helping to coach younger kids in the sports they play. Students commonly do this as a way to make money, make friends, or just to feel more connected to their sport.
Berkeley High School juniors Sebi Minn-Murray and Elouan Pecson started a small soccer camp for kids last summer, with one of the main reasons for the camp being Minn-Murray’s younger siblings. “My brother’s eleven and my sisters are seven, so their friends and classmates came to the clinics,” he explained.
The duo advertised for their clinic in multiple ways. They started social media accounts for their clinic, and also sent out emails to parents of students at Malcolm X Elementary School. While it was difficult for them to get kids to come the first couple times, they eventually amassed a good amount of people to come to their camp. “I know I love soccer, and I just wanted to make them see what I love about it. Playing with the kids was fun, and I really just feel like it’s all about patience with them,” Pecson said.
They felt that while the kids they were coaching were little, they still got something out of doing it. “I feel like at that young of an age, there wasn’t that much to teach them tactically, mostly just passing, but as you’re teaching them you do get repetition with the drills,” said Minn-Murray.
The pair plans to run the clinic more in the future. “We plan on doing it again this summer, and maybe on three-day weekends too, so parents can have some time off,” Pecson said. They do want to come more prepared the next time they run it. Minn-Murray said, “We’d just bring more supplies in general, and also tell people more in advance, less last minute.”
There are also many pre-existing programs that high school students work with. Sophomore Zachary Winslow coached for both the Golden State Warriors Basketball Academy and the Berkeley High Basketball Camp last summer. “It was a good experience and a way to show my passion for the game,” said Winslow. “I also got to learn how to deal with small children, and I think that’s definitely a good skill for other parts of life.”
Winslow connected with players at the camps and even took inspiration from them. “I actually saw some kids one time who were doing a nice ball move I thought looked really useful, so I added that to my arsenal of moves that I have for basketball,” he said. “One kid used a spin move once that I actually decided to use in game, and it worked.”