Meet Panna the Panda

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Hi DC Way Family!

We have a new member of the DC Way family that we would like to introduce.  Meet Panna the Panda! Panna is new to the game of soccer, and is excited to play on Capitol Hill with all  of their friends.  Panna has a passion for soccer, and is still trying to learn about the game and grow as a player.  Panna not only loves soccer but also making friends and going to school.  

Please welcome Panna as they learn about the game with us!

Sincerely,

DC Way Team

10% of all proceeds purchased from Panna the Panda merchandise from our store will go to the Smithsonian National Zoo to support the real pandas!

The Importance of Training Speed for Soccer by Caroline Stanton

     In soccer, speed is more than just running fast.  Speed is a complex tool that will separate an outstanding player from an average player.  Players must have strength, power, efficient body mechanics, and developed thinking to master speed.  Training speed will help a player become more successful on the field.  More importantly, it will help prevent injury by improving technical proficiency and physical ability to move at a higher velocity.

Here are a few attributes of speed that will make you a better player:

·        Quick speed off the mark

·        Quick acceleration over 10 – 15 yards

·        Speed endurance or maintenance

·        Speed in possession of the ball

·        Quickness of feet or agility

·        The ability to change direction quickly

·        Quick execution of skills

·        Quick thinking

     At DC Way, we improve a player’s speed by playing fun soccer games such as Fastest Person in DC.  In this game, the goal is for the players to race to the finish line with either a ball at their feet, in their hands, or with no ball.  The visual sign the coach gives the players will indicate what they will do with the ball.  If the coach holds up a red cone, then the players leave the ball.  A blue cone means they will dribble and if a cone is dropped then the players pick up the ball and run.  Panna the Panda loves the challenge to test their ability to think quickly and move quickly.  At first, Panna noticed that they were a little slower changing direction than other players.  However, after practice, Panna can keep up with most players and is sometimes the first to react!  The Fastest Person in DC is a simple game that tests a player’s ability to react, ability to accelerate, and other critical attributes of speed.

     Through fun soccer games and exercises, DC Way can improve your child’s physical and cognitive skills.  Speed is just one of the many skills that we focus on at our camps and clinics.  DC Way welcomes you to join us at our Summer Soccer Camps to develop your camper’s skills in as little as just one week!  You will be amazed by the change and progress your child will undergo.  The DC Way team and Panna the Panda hopes to see you soon!

 

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The Importance of Developing Spatial Awareness by Caroline Stanton

             Spatial awareness, the ability to see and understand the relationship of an object to one’s body or the relation between two or more objects, is a critical skill.  This skill helps us think in two and three dimensions, so we can visualize objects from different or changing positions.  Children use this to perform tasks in everyday life from grabbing a pen to avoiding obstacles when walking around.  More specifically, developing this skill will contribute to building visual perception, math skills, and body awareness.

            At DC Way, we strengthen spatial awareness by playing fun soccer games such as Minefield Relay.  In this game, two teams start in opposite corners of a square field.  There are many cones placed throughout the field that represent mines.  The players must run or dribble a ball through the field without touching the cones.  If the player or ball touches the “mine”, he or she must start over.  Panna the Panda enjoys the challenge of navigating through the field and takes a few tries to complete the obstacle course.  The ability to navigate through an obstacle course requires a significant amount of spatial awareness and rates the player’s ability to move around objects.  By playing this game, Panna has noticed an improvement in their ability to control and navigate the ball around the soccer field!

            DC Way understands the importance of developing spatial awareness in children.  Through fun soccer games and exercises we work on developing multiple cognitive and physical skills that will further your child’s development.  DC Way invites you and your child to join DC Way’s Summer Soccer Camps!  Panna the Panda and the DC Way team hopes to see you soon!

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Red Light! Green Light! Pay Attention! by Caroline Stanton

            Your mind is like a muscle that needs to be exercised and strengthened.  The ability to pay attention is critical to individual performance and productivity.  For example, how well children can focus is imperative to their ability to learn in the classroom.  In soccer, a strong attention span can help a player successfully focus on strategies or tasks needed to win a game.  Being able to manage your attention will lead to successful task completion and enhance the capability to manage more than one task.

            At DC Way, we practice paying attention through the soccer exercise called Car Racing.  In this game, everyone pretends they are in a car and they dribble their ball under a different speed or gear.  The players must follow different commands that are called out such as red light, green light, yellow light, speed up, and runaway trucks.  The players must try to dribble their ball to the finish line by correctly following the various commands called out by the coach.  This exercise encourages Panna the Panda to listen carefully to the coach the entire game to successfully cross over to the finish line.  At times Panna wants to give their attention to other interesting things but remains engaged because they enjoy the game.  A child’s attention span is elastic, but they are willing to give more of their attention to tasks that they enjoy.

            By creatively turning soccer drills into fun games, DC Way engages our player’s attention.  A good learning environment is key to establishing an atmosphere where children can better concentrate.  We believe that training your child’s attention span will help them be successful on the field, in the classroom, and in life!  We invite you and your child to join DC Way at our Summer Soccer Camps to learn essential life skills.  The DC Way team and Panna the Panda hope to see you soon!

 

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Strengthening Social Skills Through Teamwork & Bonding by Caroline Stanton

           Communication and the ability to work in a team are two of the ten essential skills employers look for in recent college graduates, according to Susan Adams, Forbes employee.  It is easy to understand the value of communication because it is used in every function of life from work to social events.  Moreover, mastering in-person communication has become even more important than ever due to its dying nature with rapidly increasing technology.  Communication and teamwork are pinnacle to the game of soccer and the success of a team.

            DC Way encourages communication amongst players through fun games and exercises like Spiderweb.  At the start of the game, two kids link arms and attempt to add to the link by tagging other players like a spiderweb catching bugs.  Panna the Panda enjoys this game because as the chain grows so does the communication amongst players.  Through this game, Panna can practice teamwork by coordinating and talking with the other players to more effectively catch other kids.  Working as a team helps Panna build emotional maturity because it requires them to think of others.

            DC Way celebrates communication and teamwork at every soccer clinic and camp.  Communication and teamwork are just some of the many skills we teach to help your kid be successful in life.  We welcome you to join our Summer Soccer Camps to teach your camper essential skills!  You’ll be amazed how in just one week they can learn so much!  We hope to see you there!

 

 Coach and campers playing a game of Spiderweb!

Coach and campers playing a game of Spiderweb!

How an Egg Can Teach Responsibility by Caroline Stanton

          Being responsible is an important quality to possess for both on and off the soccer field.  To be a responsible person means that you are trustworthy because you are accountable for your actions.  A responsible player demonstrates good sportsmanship and is dependable to their team.  Responsibility is a key quality to have to better achieve set goals, raise team morale, and to build individual character.

            DC Way has taught Panna the Panda how to be responsible through a fun imagination-engaging exercise.  In this exercise, all the players must pretend that they are eggs that will crack or break if they bump into each other.  The players get an opportunity to run around for a minute and try not to bump into each other to protect their shells.  Panna loves this exercise because it is funny to pretend to be an egg.  Moreover, Panna learned how to be responsible for themselves and their space when moving around many other players.  Panna feels a sense of pride when they can successfully navigate themselves around others without cracking their shell.

            At DC Way, we understand the importance of demonstrating responsibility during practice and games.  Responsibility is just one of the many skills we teach your child to help them be successful in soccer and life.  We welcome you to join us at our Summer Soccer Camps to teach your camper essential skills!  Within a week or even one day, your child will walk away with the tools they need.  Panna and the DC Way team hopes to see you soon!

 

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Quick Decision Making: Soccer & Life by Caroline Stanton

Decision-making is a key factor in the game of soccer.  Over half the time, loss of possession of the ball occurs from poor decision making and not from insufficient technical skills.  As stated by J. Valdano, “Without the intelligence to play, the (technical) ability becomes an aimless virtue.”  Soccer is a fast-paced sport that requires the player to think about multiple things while playing the game.  Therefore, it is just as critical that the player can think at a high-level as it is possessing technical skills.

At DC Way, Panna the Panda has learned how to fine tune their decision-making skills through various soccer games and drills.  For example, in the game of tic-tac-toe, two players or two teams compete to try to get three pinnies or soccer balls in a row.  Panna loves this game because you must make a quick decision in response to the current game situation.  Panna still has a way to go to master decision-making, but is excited for the opportunity to practice it through various fun and exciting games at DC Way.

DC Way invites you to join us at our Summer Soccer Camps to let us train your camper towards gaining essential soccer and life skills such as quick decision making.  Your kid will walk away with these skills in just a week or even just one day, you choose!  Panna hopes to see you and your little camper at DC Way’s Summer Soccer Camps.

 

 Players at DC Way's Free Festival practicing quick decision making with a game of tic-tac-toe!

Players at DC Way's Free Festival practicing quick decision making with a game of tic-tac-toe!