Grow Sports Psychology had the unique opportunity to facilitate two 75-minute workshop sessions with FC United’s MLS Next Soccer teams. FC United is an elite soccer club in the Chicagoland area. They have teams at every level of play and their goal is to create the best soccer experience for every play in every season. Grow Sports Psychology aligns closely with their mission to empower each player to reach their highest potential, both on and off the field. Their commitment to cultivating the best club environment and inspiring their athletes to Achieve their Incredible

Under the leadership and expertise of our very own Kevin Barton and with the support of fellow team members McKenzie Altmayer, Lizzy Linnane, Eddie Perry, Adam Ratner, and Dave Dennis, we conducted interactive workshops with FC United’s U15-U19 Boys teams as well as their U11-U14 Boys for the second session. Each workshop was carefully designed to address  unique challenges for each team and were focused on building team cohesion, communication, and mental toughness. 

The foundation for each workshop started with a team introduction and insight into psychological skills training and mental performance. From there, we set up four different stations/activities for the athletes to participate in and compete against one another. The players were divided into four groups based on their current rostered teams and had to work together to complete each of the challenging activities. Kevin made sure to emphasize that this was a competition and encouraged each of the teams to try to win at each station. 

Each station consisted of an activity which was designed to help the athletes work on team cohesion, team building, communication, mental toughness, and problem solving. As predicted, the athletes were very competitive with one another and found new ways to work together to complete each task. Team members monitored each activity to explain directions and provide reflective questions about the process and how communication, team cohesion, and leadership played a role in successfully accomplishing each task. 

After each team went to all four stations, everyone gathered back onto the 18 yard box to debrief the workshop. Kevin asked the athletes to highlight and discuss what they took away from each of the different activities. As a group, we were able to connect how each station relates to the game of soccer and how their individual takeaways could be utilized during games. The athletes were very responsive and many endorsed a renewed sense of understanding on the importance of working together as a team in order to positively support one another, define roles, and promote team cohesion and individual mental performance skills.

Grow Sports Psychology was honored to take part in FC United’s pre-season training camp. It was a wonderful experience to work with FC United and see their mission play out within their interactions and engagement with not only their athletes and coaches, but with our staff as well. We look forward to continuing our work with FC United to support them in gaining a competitive advantage with the integration of our sports psychology and performance improvement services as well as their efforts in building strong, resilient players both on the field and in life. 


    To learn more about Eddie Perry or to schedule a session with him, please reach out to us at: 331-457-2020 or at [email protected]