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Feb, 2020

The Impact of Enjoyment at Northern Colorado Rush

Enjoyment is the highlighted Core Value of February. Last week we heard the National Development Director’s perspective on enjoyment and how that plays a role in kids’ athletic development. 

This week, we are highlighting Northern Colorado Rush and how enjoyment has an impact there. Club and CAP Director, Lynda McManus, and Director of Coaching, Matt Foster, both recognize enjoyment in what they do and the importance of it in a player’s game. 

Personally, I love the people I work with” Lynda stated. “From our DOC/office staff, to our coaches, team managers and Board of Directors, everyone is truly committed to the development of all players.”

Lynda has been working at Rush for over 15 years. Before that, she coached two teams, worked as a referee assignor for 12 years, and also worked as a referee. Lynda has also seen the impact of enjoyment in the game of soccer from her two sons’ experiences:


“My passion comes from what it has taught my two sons (now 27 and 31). Both boys were referees and played through high school and my youngest played college soccer.  Having the opportunity to play with players from different backgrounds and being able to share their passion for the game truly cultivated their enjoyment! They gained life-long friendships and continue to enjoy the game through coaching, fantasy futbol, and Sunday Soccer mornings.  


“What they learned as referees was invaluable,” she continued. “They truly became better players! The list of what they learned is endless: responsibility, discipline, composure, communication, pride and most of all the wonderful people they worked with made it fun. In summary, soccer provided positive experiences which contributed to my sons’ love of the game.


When asked why Lynda thought the Core Value of Enjoyment was a crucial value in The Rush Way, she had no trouble responding:


“That’s easy; without enjoyment, kids don't play. It is impossible to learn in a negative environment. Players perform better in a fun atmosphere. It is a fact that players who are enjoying themselves will play longer. It is sad that 70% of youth drop out of sports by the age of 13.  Some drop out due to pressure to win or excel. Players are often pressured to play at a premier level and if they can't it causes them to quit. Negative environment and pressure isn't fun. We need to recognize that some players don't need or want to win championships… they might just want to have fun and enjoy playing soccer. The excitement of a positive environment will generate wins and championships.”


Matt, though he has not been at the club as long as Lynda, also has passion and joy for what he does:

“I love what I do! I feel very fortunate to be in my position and have a career in soccer. It's my biggest passion and I love being able to share that passion with players, coaches and parents. I have only been with Northern Colorado Rush for 6 months but it has been great getting to know all of our players and coaches. I feel like I am at the stage now where I know a lot of individual players and I am starting to build good relationships with each of them.” 

Not only does Matt enjoy the relationships that he is making with the players, but he also enjoys seeing the people around him have passion for the beautiful game:

“I really enjoy seeing our kids have fun at training, being competitive, showing good character and wanting to improve. This also goes for our coaches; I want all of our staff here to love what they do and create a positive environment where young players can flourish and enjoy the game as much as we do.”

When asked why he thinks Enjoyment is important to players, he claimed:

“I have to agree with Lynda on this one. Without enjoying what you do there is no point in doing it. This goes for anything in life and soccer is a sport that is built around fun, from the grassroots level, all the way up to the professional game.”


“One of our objectives as a club,” he continues, “ is to ensure our players enjoy the game, to ensure they want to go and train, work hard in games and take part in other programs we offer. If I didn't enjoy the game I wouldn't be here today and it should be no different to all of our players and staff.”


Enjoyment is a crucial Core Value for The Rush Way and there is no doubt that it is experienced at Northern Colorado Rush. All over the world, individuals are enjoying the game by playing it, coaching it, reffing it, or watching it. The sport brings so many people joy and we are proud to be a part of it.


We will share one more perspective on Enjoyment from a Rush player in the days ahead. Stay tuned as we finish out this Core Value and then move onto Empathy in March. 


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