Even though this summer looks different, here are ways to bring the Woza Experience home:
These have been a part of Woza since the very first trip. Come up with a “trick shot” involving a soccer ball and your surroundings. Think Rube Goldberg meets crossbar challenge, or mini golf meets soccer. Try to chip a ball into a trash can, or through a tire. Hone your aim as you try to knock over a water bottle. Thread the ball through the swings at the playground. The possibilities are endless! Give everyone involved a chance to try the challenge. If no one completes it on the first try, everyone gets to try again. Modify the challenge if the group is not getting close. Alternatively, if multiple players complete it quickly in the same round, have them face off against each other in a championship round. If someone completes the challenge, every player after him or her gets one final shot. Once you start using your surroundings to design chip challenges, you’ll see them everywhere!
At every meal, Woza groups wait to eat until everyone has been served. This not only serves the practical purpose of making sure there’s enough food to serve everyone, but also allows for an opportunity to think of the “group before self,” which is a mantra embraced on teamwork-focused Woza trips. Once everyone is served and ready to eat, say “cheers!” and dig in! You can also add your own flavor by changing “cheers” to the equivalent in a different language (ex: “buen provecho” or “bon appetit”) or use a word that’s meaningful to your family.
Daily debrief - "Locker Room"
Every evening, after dinner, find time to come together and talk about the day while winding down. Embracing the team lifestyle, we’ve named this “Locker Room” at Woza and it’s a time to relax, enjoy each other’s company one last time before bed and end the day on a good note. Each person shares three things along with the answer to an optional question.
High: What was the best part or moment of your day?
Low: What was the worst or most challenging moment?
Cheers: Who did something that deserves special appreciation and recognition? Did someone go out of their way to help out? Do something kind that few others noticed? Helped boost your spirits at a low point? Ideally this is someone within the group, but it can also be an outsider instead.
Question of the day: This is optional and can be anything! Favorite ice cream flavor, where you’d most like to travel, what superpower you most want, what song you could listen to all day -- this is a chance to get creative and get to know the group better!
A core tenant to Woza trips is commitment to “being here now” - focusing on the experience at hand to get the most out of it. You can do this in your daily life too! Commit to times either as an individual or family to keep phones away. Perhaps during mealtimes or evenings, or during certain outings or car rides. You may be surprised at how freeing it feels to not have the option to scroll unnecessarily!
Giving Back and Connecting with Others:
Gear Donation Collections
Now is a great time to clean out your closets and go through old gear. In our experience, soccer-focused organizations and teams value items such as soccer balls and cleats most. Also useful are more specialized items such as pinnies, cones, ball pumps, shin guards and goalie gloves, which are also hard to come by and valued. One-off items such as jerseys and socks are less useful, unless you have a full set to help outfit a full team. It’s always best to check with the organization you’re donating to in order to get a sense of their true needs.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like help finding a local organization to donate to, or are interested in future Woza travelers transporting your donations abroad!
Coaching in your Community
With restrictions on usual summer programming, there are a lot of kids that may benefit from coaching and mentoring! Follow the advice from local health officials to determine if you should offer something virtually, or if you're able to be in person in small groups or one on one. From there see soccer from a different angle as you pass on skills, challenges and training techniques that guided your own player development.
Support Woza's Domestic and International Partners
We are fortunate to work with an inspiring group of organizations, both international and domestic. If you haven't already found one that inspires you, feel free to contact us to learn more about an organization operating in a particular location or addressing an issue that resonates with you. From there, use your time, network and platform to help propel them forward! Whether you raise awareness, collect gear or fundraise for a specific project or goal of theirs, you can boost their success! We're here to support you as you support them.
Reconnect with Woza partners & your former Woza Teammates
Past participants, reconnect with your former teammates! Woza can help organize if you’ve lost track of contact information. Please also reach out to us if you or a group want to connect with our international partners - we can help facilitate a video call or set up a new international pen pal!
Learning about Sport for Development & Peace:
Sport for Development & Peace is an emerging sub-field of International Development. It focuses on harnessing the power of sport to promote education, improve communities, provide pathways out of poverty, empower women, combat public health issues and so much more. It's existence is the inspiration for Woza! There are individuals and organizations all over the world engaging with this work in inspiring ways. If you'd like to learn more about the power of sport, we suggest the following:
The Away Game: The Epic Search for Soccer's Next Superstars, by Sebastian Abbot
The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer, by David Goldblatt
How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, by Franklin Foer
Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town, by Warren St. John
Under the Lights and in the Dark: Untold Stories of Women's Soccer, by Gwendolyn Oxenham
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, by Anand Giridharadas
The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa's Economic Miracle, by Ashish J. Thakkar
The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports, by Joshua Robinson & Jonathan Clegg
Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Struggle for Democracy, by Dave Zirin
One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together by Amy Bass
After the Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United
The Rhino Cup
Articles & Websites
Giving any of these a try? Let us know how it goes! Contact us or use #wozafy2020!