A Junior Coach’s Transformation

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"What I have learned from Morgan is that no one is perfect, but that by allowing ourselves to learn from sometimes ‘tricky’ situations we are growing into the best version of ourselves and we are better for this growth. I look forward to seeing what this mindset will prove to allow Morgan to do in the coming years of her life."

        Coach Sophie, Playworks site coordinator, Houston, Texas


For kids attending a Playworks school, something magical happens during recess.

Kids don't just learn the rules of hula hoop tag, they learn how to play fair. They don't just learn how to play on a team – they learn how to be kind, show empathy and resolve problems on their own. They learn how to be respectful, and how to be good role models. They learn how to become leaders.

That's what Coach Sophie’s experience tells us.

While working at a Houston Elementary School, Coach Sophie met Morgan on the playground. Morgan was courageous and fearless, but she struggled with coming across as bossy. She often got upset during situations where things didn’t go her way. As Coach Sophie worked with her during recess and Junior Coach trainings, she began to realize that Morgan could become more aware of her responses and develop the ability to speak on behalf of her emotions when dealing with conflicts.

One day, Morgan and a fellow Junior Coach, Yul, were noticeably at odds with one another. Instead of immediately getting upset at Yul for going to a teacher to tell on, Morgan asked Yul why he had not spoken to her about it. The two ended up talking for the entire recess and came to a decision that they would speak to one another before running to an adult when upset.

Through Junior Coach trainings, one-on-one conversations, and positive reinforcement, Morgan gets along with others, and Coach Sophie says she’s even caught her being a peer mediator on the playground.

All it took was someone believing in her and giving her that chance–the chance to shine like the leader she was.