MLS Youth Academy Soccer Clinic helps kids strengthen their bodies — and minds

Helping kids stay physically, mentally fit

There’s a lot of good life skills that can be learned on a soccer field. The importance of teamwork and collaboration, how physical activity can boost your well-being and the impact of social connection.

At a recent skills and drills clinic, children of UnitedHealthcare employees had a chance to learn these lessons from coaches that know a thing or two about playing the game.

As the kit sponsor for the New England Revolution, UnitedHealthcare invited the Revs Academy coaches to lead a youth soccer clinic in St. Paul, before the team took on Minnesota United that evening. Children, ages 6-14, of UnitedHealthcare employees had a chance to earn a spot at the clinic by designing their own UnitedHealthcare MLS kit, with an emphasis on creativity.

The clinic included plenty of physical activity, with scrimmages, training and drills, as well a focus on mental health and emotion regulation. The United Health Foundation launched a $3 million commitment over three years in collaboration with Active Minds — a nonprofit that focuses on promoting youth mental health awareness and education.

Representatives from Active Minds helped clinic participants understand the importance of communicating their feelings and how active listening can help others feel supported.

“UnitedHealthcare is committed to being ‘There for what matters’ in health care moments, big and small and kids' mental health could not be more important,” said Beth McGuire, vice president of brand marketing for UnitedHealthcare. “Obviously, we all know the connection between mental health and physical health. So we're here today to provide an opportunity for these kids to get inspired and stay motivated.”

Sign up to get the latest news from the UnitedHealthcare Newsroom