Athlete Ambassador Program Tips Off

This week the Chicago Sky made their first of three visits to Hamilton Elementary and Moos Elementary Schools as part of the World Sport Chicago Athlete Ambassador Program. The program helps to educate and encourage youth to live healthy lifestyles and learn to set and work to achieve their goals.

Representing the Sky was Elena Delle Donne and Assistant Coach Christie Sides. The two introduced themselves to the students and shared their sports background. Sides, who told the students about her extensive coaching experience in Russia, even taught them to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” in Russian.

Delle Donne and Sides explained to the students the importance of staying active and how they can best utilize the school’s 30+20+10 program which allows them 30 minutes of physical education, 20 minutes of recess and 10 minutes of classroom physical activity a day.

The two showed the students some of the very exercises that Delle Donne does when she works out to stay active and healthy for WNBA season. After demonstrating some of her toughest drills, a handful of students gave it a try, running sprints and defensive stance shuffles across the gym floor.

The two talked about goal setting, an important part of being a professional athlete and coach. Sides explained the difference between short term and long term goals. She encouraged the kids to think about their own short term and long term goals and stressed that writing those goals down as well as sharing them with a friend or family member will help them stay on the path to achieve their dreams.

Delle Donne told the students that she has to set goals and share them with others just like they do. “I actually sat down with Christie and Pokey, my head coach, and told them, ‘I want to get better.’” After sharing the goal, she and her coaches figured out what next steps she needed to do to get better, like working on getting stronger and faster.

Coach Sides made a challenge to the students. She asked them to write down their goal and speak the goal out loud to someone like their parents, friends or teachers that support them. Then, they must write down three steps they are going to take to help them achieve that goal and bring it with them when the Sky returns to their school for their second visit.

The Sky will follow up with the schools twice more throughout the year to check on their progress with their daily activity, nutrition and goals.