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We have finished our first week teaching at the Coach for College camp in Long Mỹ where I have been teaching English and Soccer. It is incredible to think we have only been here a little over a week because it already feels like we developed a routine and know each other so well. I have loved getting to know the other Duke and Stanford student-athletes, the Vietnamese coaches, and the Coach for College directors.

“Since this is a summer program, they are trying to help get kids prepared for the school year, so it is quality over quantity.”

I already feel like part of a community – from all the Coach for College coaches and directors, to the people who host us and their adorable children, to the locals we pass each morning we run, to our bus driver, and more. I have been blow away by how quickly a community can be built with the right atmosphere. What I have not mentioned yet are the kids, who make everything worthwhile. I have definitely had days where I have been so tired and frustrated, but the students truly give us energy. Our first day of orientation I was a bit nervous, because I had never taught before and our encounters with the kids seemed a bit awkward. In just one short week, despite a language barrier, I have grown to really know most of the kids.

Group of students and coaches pose for picture outside
Me with my fellow coaches and the Green Team

One of my favorite parts has been noticing that some kids need a little extra help and attention. Since this is a mix of kids from different schools, there are varying levels in academic, athletic, and behavioral maturity. I have enjoyed pronouncing English words with some kids even when the rest of the group has moved on. I enjoy trying to understand why a kid acts out because it usually has to do with something else. I have enjoyed trying to help the girls in soccer understand they can keep up with the guys.

This is what Coach for College is all about. Since this is a summer program, they are trying to help get kids prepared for the school year, so it is quality over quantity. I am so happy to be a part of their mission, and I cannot wait for next week.

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