We like to think there is “no time like the present.” We are just a bunch of people, coaches of one sort or another, who believe that there is a better way. It’s not uncommon to hear that youth sports are “broken.” We don’t disagree. We see and live it daily. We all have tried to effect change in our organizations but change is hard to come by.
We all agree on two things: 1. We love to coach. 2. The system is broken and we can do better.
We started to talk, debate, throw out ideas on what our “ultimate” club would look like. These discussions became a road map and a belief that we can do this. We can make a difference. A few people and ideas attracted more. Our circle grew. So here we are!
Our desire is to make Wanderers more than a coach, a ball, a field, and a team ranked high in the standings. We are building a complete program. Yes, soccer but also health and wellness, injury prevention and recovery, mental health, a culture of support and family, volunteerism, understanding the game from the perspective of an official or coach, etc. To positively affect the whole of a young person we need to offer a whole program. That is our desire and passion. That is our “why.” The best news is that when all those parts fit, the “success” the adults want to see not only happen but are sustainable over the long term. We believe there is a deep need for this approach.
Kids don’t play sports to win games. The research is more than clear on that. Being part of a team, learning new things, being active, are all major drivers for these kids. Let’s be honest that the winning is driven by a desire of the adults, coaches, and parents, to measure success. The reality is that the kids just don’t “buy” that. As coaches we can see the good sports can have for the process of developing a kid to an adult, good habits, being healthy, understanding themselves and how they affect others, etc.. To do that there needs to be more than a ball.
You may also wonder where the name comes from. “The Fells” is a reservation outside of Boston. One of our founding members visits often. It’s the oasis of nature, trees, and wildness surrounded by man’s brick and steel. It’s a happy place surrounded by semi-controlled chaos. We feel our club and the game are and should be, that for our athletes and families. A happy place to decompress and enjoy life. Wanderers is a classic name in the soccer community. It is meant to depict a group of people who travel and play the game out of pure love of the experience over results. It is about playing for a higher purpose. Fellsway Wanderers. Not all who wander are lost.