Welcome to the Collaborative’s Coaches Corner!
Each month, we will highlight a coach from one of our member organizations and the impact they make on Philadelphia youth. Our very first feature highlights Valencia Peterson, CEO, and Founder of Open Door Abuse Awareness Prevention (ODAAP), and Pennwood High School football coach.
Coach V, as her players call her, has been coaching football at Pennwood for 4 years and says she didn’t set out to be a football coach but her work in prevention led her there.
“I love the game so it wasn’t hard to jump in. I started learning the specifics and understanding the game deeper,” she says. When asked about her coaching style, Peterson explained that she coaches with firmness expecting excellence from her students but still incorporates compassion. “ Most of my players will play their hearts out for me simply because they know that I love them,” Coach V states, “ My players know that I care about them as a person and not necessarily their performance on the field. I demand 100% of them at all times.”
With the pandemic creating uncertainty, it’s required many coaches adapt in unique ways to accommodate their youth and Coach V is doing just that. She has been using this time as a teachable moment for her players by taking them to volunteer and making sure that they find value in everything that they are experiencing, good or bad win or lose.
“Making sure that they understand the correlation between life and the ball is very important,” Coach V says, “ I’ve also been intentional about keeping in touch with the players whether through text, social media, or zoom call.”
Although Coach V says she didn’t have a coach that impacted her when she was younger she says she tries to make an impact herself by finding different ways to build relationships with her players by being there for them not just on the field but also off the field. Learn more about Valencia Peterson and the work of ODAAP at odaap.org.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about being featured in the next Coaches Corner