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Girls futsal competition

SHS-AdC’s key to success: Learning to adjust to changes

By: Mars G. Alison February 26,2020 - 08:24 AM

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu girls' futsal team.

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu girls’ futsal team. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Staying positive is not always easy, especially when you’re into sports.

In this field, there’s a winner, and there’s also a loser.

But, because life must go on, the girls football/futsal team of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu found a way to eventually find the good in tough situations and make it work in their favor.

And, by doing so, they became a stronger team and was rewarded several times, the most recent of which is clinching the secondary girls futsal title of Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Season 19 and the Girls 18 title of the 21st Aboitizland Football Cup.

“I kind of expected that we will be able to defend (Cesafi futsal title) ‘coz like you can really see it in our practice, like everyone sacrifices their time especially in the morning at 5:30 even though we have classes, like you can really see the efforts of each and every player like they give their best as a team,” said team captain Yoojin Kim Co.

These Ateneo girls have actually won the Cesafi title since futsal was included as one of the sporting events of the inter-school league two years ago.

In the past two seasons, futsal had an open division, meaning that in Ateneo de Cebu’s first two Cesafi titles, they defeated a collegiate team. In the recent 19th season, futsal was split into the secondary and tertiary division.

What’s impressive about the team’s accomplishments is that that these girls had three different coaches in each championship.

Ironically, they had to face one of their former coaches in Rose Ton “Apol” Bariñan, who now handles a University of San Carlos (USC) team that the champs consider as their toughest competitor.

“Coach Apple, she’s a very good coach. [USC] also got good players from different schools, so that makes them really good,” explained defender Raya Tolentino on why they see USC as a difficult opponent.

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu girls' futsal team celebrate.

The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu girls’ futsal team celebrate in a win in the recent Cesafi competition. CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco


So, how did they continue to win amidst all the adjustments that they had to make?

They worked as a team.

“At first it was really difficult, the first time we [changed coaches]. It was really a big challenge for us because we really got used to having this kind of coach for like the longest time in our football career,” said striker Feona Avenido.

The striker added that the first time their coach left, “it was really hard because we didn’t know where we were supposed to go, what mindset we should be in as a team because we weren’t used to [be in that] kind of situation.”

But it was through that situation that they learned to take the initiative and become stronger as a team.

“The second time that it happened, I feel like we got a grasp of what to do already like we took initiative as a team on how to communicate with each other, how to still unite despite having problems when we were left,” said Avenido, adding that “now that we have our new coaches, it wasn’t difficult compared to the first time it happened because we already knew what to do and we know as a team that we are already in better hands, we know that both of them have the experience.”

As for defender Hannah Barba, adjusting to new situations is something that a player must get used to.

“To be a player you’re supposed to adapt well and even though we have different coaches, each experience is always unique from the rest, so each coach taught us different things,” said Barba.

futsal, girls, Ateneo de Cebu, celebrate

The SHS-AdC team celebrates in one of its Cesafi matches. CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco

Not the gender, but the team

The girls got so resilient that the gender of their coaches hardly ever mattered. This because their first two coaches were women, while the new batch are males—Martin Ferrer and Kid Nicart, who took over the team just last November 2019.

“For me, each coach, girl or boy, is a different experience so I can’t really say that I like the other one more coz in each coach I learned something new that I can apply in the game. So, all coaches that I’ve been through I benefitted from it,” said Tolentino, to which the rest of her teammates agreed.

As for coaches Ferrer and Nicart, the gender of the players they coach also didn’t matter to them.

“It differs with the group based on my experience as also a coach in the grassroots. Sometimes there are groups really wherein you exert less effort in teaching because coaching right now when you teach them during training, it’s teaching, in the game, it’s coaching so there are really groups that takes less effort to teach based on my experience,” said Nicart, who added that it was not in the gender but rather on the age group.

“We treat them all as players. Admittedly, there’s a big difference between boys and girls if you’re not prepared. When you train boys and girls, you should be prepared so they would also not have a hard time. All will understand if your plan is very concrete. Your training plan must have an objective for the day, pressed that unto the teams so that they can understand, simple to complex,” Ferrer added.

According to both coaches, although there are a number of challenges when they took over, each girl had a different attitude and that part they weren’t prepared being grassroots football coaches.

However, like the girls, they also learned to cope and both coaches concluded that the girls were easier to handle. And, they credit the team’s previous coaches—Bariñan and Melanie Bordalba, for mentoring them well that it became somehow easy for them to take over.

Indeed Bariñan and Bordalba have molded this team to be a winner and even though they have gone their separate ways, the team still retained what they have been taught.

“Everyday we always tell them that if we work together as a team, the success will follow. With that, we encourage the team to get the title,” said Ferrer. /bmjo

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TAGS: Ateneo de Cebu, futsal, Magis Eagles, SHS-AdC

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