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First Counseling Internship Ends Successfully

white and gray Adidas soccerball on lawn grass

Perhaps, there was never a more difficult time but more important time for the first counseling internship for Soccer Chaplains United. This past January, saw the first-ever joint venture internship to feature a counseling intern working with the pre-professional soccer players and families that comprise the Colorado Rapids Development Academy.

And just as the internship got off to a start with select age-groups, the global pandemic hit. Shutdown. Quarantine. And everyone had to pivot. Coaches. Players. Families. And more. There was a major shift and transition to zoom and online. There were at-home programs created and developed to help the athletes stay in soccer shape as much as possible while being apart from their teammates.

Just as the Rapids U-17 team earned a spot in the DA Championships, the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown soccer across the US.

And in spite of all the different challenges and barriers to creating a good system of mental health and mentality support for desiring DA athletes and family members, perhaps there has never been a more timely moment to begin.

Brooke Ewert, Soccer Chaplains United’s volunteer Director of Counseling offered this observation:

We were able to normalize mental health services to the developmental academy in a way that they got use to seeing a counselor around and knowing they could talk at any point in the season if they needed support.

Brooke, on the impact of the first-ever internship

In the final review, the counseling internship (which recently ended) might be deemed a success. A number of athletes and families were helped and supported in the midst of a pandemic shutdown and a lost season — which also saw major changes within the academy and soccer scene, itself. There looks to be a precedent set for the future — one in which the mental health needs of some of the youngest of athletes who might one-day don a 1st-team shirt have been helped from the beginning of their journey.

Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy, counseling, and community service across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our work.

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