Loisaida Youth Soccer (LYS) is a recreational non-profit futbol program that seeks to foster in children a love of movement, creativity, and the beautiful game in a positive, child-centered, nurturing, challenging and dynamic environment. With our emphasis on "play" over training, excellence over competition and winning, and mixed-grouping over single sex and age segregation, we imagine ourselves as the antidote to the traditional "travel" or "academy" approach adopted by many soccer clubs. We differ from parent-run recreational leagues because we hire experienced, professional coaches, with extensive playing experience who are on the cutting edge of football pedagogy, and we create a learning atmosphere that prioritizes the child over the adult. Kids love to play and to make friends and to have fun, and at LYS this is what we are all about!
Flo pedagogy is a theory of teaching that places the role of the teacher/soccer coach as facilitator of the flow state, as proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. At LYS we ensure that all our activities maximize the flow state by:
1) Using games that are challenging, age-appropriate and engaging,
2) Emphasizing free experimentation, risk-taking, and self-determination
3) incorporating music to create an atmosphere of fun and movement, and
4) stimulating intellectual engagement and new skill acquisition through a positive coaching model. Flo pedagogy operates within a constructivist approach to learning (Dewey) and belongs to the larger body of work on positive psychology that is currently reshaping our approach to education and human flourishing. We believe our application of flow studies to the youth sporting context offers a positive, engaging, child-centered and amazing experience.