Every CadmiumCD employee who decides to serve in extracurricular volunteer activities is asked to share their experience. The following are CadmiumCD project manager George Heitzmann‘s thoughts about volunteering as an after school soccer coach.
I have been coaching soccer for an elementary school after school program. I coach a group of between 10 – 20 elementary school children from aged 7 – 12. The elementary schools differ based on the day and season but most schools are around the DMV and southern Maryland.
I am an avid soccer fan and player. Through the various soccer activities I partake in, I was put in contact with several coaches who told me about and convinced me to begin coaching myself. After taking part in a few coaching camps, I went for a trial session, really enjoyed it, and began coaching myself. The program has about 20 coaches total at various elementary schools around the DMV.
The beautiful game has taught me many things about life – teamwork, leadership, perseverance and hard work – in addition to the various friends and experiences playing the game has given me. I wanted to pay that forward to the next generation of players. If I can improve any member of my team, allow them to gain confidence and most of all, enjoy playing the game and keep playing, that would be a major accomplishment for me.
Coaching allows me to develop other skills that I may not have the opportunity to learn in my regular daily activities. Leading a group of children is extremely humbling and teaches virtues such as patience, leadership, perseverance and organization. It also allows me to have fun. Seeing the kids have fun during our sessions is really fulfilling. It gives me some perspective on what’s important in life.
When we start the season, during the first lessons, the kids are often shy, disinterested and not knowing what to expect, and possibly somewhat disruptive. What makes it worth it is by the end of the season when their skills have improved, is that they feel more confident communicating with me and their classmates. Also, they begin to notice the differences in their game from when they started, which allows them to gain more confidence in their ability and shows that practice, listening, and learning do pay off. These are values they can then in turn bring to their daily lives off the soccer pitch.
I encourage others to partake in experiences like these for a few reasons. Volunteering and giving back to the community allows you to see the bigger picture, be more patient and grateful for the opportunities you have been given. It also allows you to make a difference in someones life so they may be able to better themselves. There is no better feeling than that!
I have over 4 years experience managing software projects focusing on events and continuing education management as well as experience managing various IT service and infrastructure projects around the Washington, D.C area. Originally from South Africa, I graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Business Science Degree in Marketing and received a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute. At Cadmium, I am project manager for the eventScribe mobile app and Survey Magnet Module.
When away from work, I enjoy coaching and playing soccer, hiking, traveling and fanatically supporting Liverpool F.C.