How can you help teens from underprivileged areas succeed? With help from the coaches of their sports teams, says Fabrice Vil, founder of the organization "Pour 3 points." With the right tools, a trainer can help young people score points both on and off the playing field.
After parents and friends, coaches are the most likely people to influence teens. Vil knows this from experience: this native of Anjou, now in his 30s, played basketball in high school and college before coaching a team for 10 years. However, although coaches know how to correct their players' techniques, they are sometimes at a loss when they need to support teens who didn't start out with the same advantages in life as everyone else.
In 2010, Vil saw a childhood friend who had turned to a life of crime – a guy who was full of potential! Vil was convinced that if their coach had known how to help him, things could have been different. This is what motivated him to found "Pour 3 points,"
The program was tested for the first time in 2014 with 12 people.
“ On average, each coach has an impact on 12 to 15 kids each year, ” said Vil. Today, with 39 basketball and soccer coaches, the organization is able to reach nearly 450 teens in 11 schools across the island of Montréal!
Self-confidence, perseverance, doing your best… Xavier Gomes helps the 12 soccer players he coaches develop these qualities with the help of “Pour 3 points” at the Ecole Joseph-François-Perrault in Saint-Michel.
“Some of my kids have a hard time with their schoolwork and feel like they’re only good at soccer,” said the 26-year-old coach. “As a coach, I’m there to help them translate their success in sports to their studies.”
Gomes gives the example of one of his players who was failing most of his classes at the beginning of the year. By taking the time to talk with him regularly, the coach got him to pay more attention to his schoolwork.
“His grades improved, and he felt proud of himself, said Gomes.
It's not an isolated case. A study conducted in collaboration with McGill University's sports psychology research laboratory showed an increase in independence, perseverance and communications skills in youth coached by members of "Pour 3 points."
And it’s just the beginning. The organization plans to train 40 additional coaches over the next year to double its network of mentors in running shows ready to prepare the minds of the future.
In support of a municipal social development policy
In November 2016, the city laid the foundation for its future social development policy at the Commission sur le développement social et la diversité montréalaise. Many partners, members of organizations and residents accepted the invitation. To follow the policy’s progress, view documents and subscribe to updates