Maren Rojas

Maren arrives to Edgework with 20 years of experience coaching collegiate soccer. She brings a diverse skill set to the company with a strong background in managing operations for several women’s soccer programs as the Assistant Coach at JMU, Syracuse University, The University of Virginia, Boston College, and as the Head Coach at Bowdoin College. Most recently she has been working with women’s lacrosse at Harvard University as the Director of Operations. She brings experience in group and event planning serving as the Director of Camps for those programs, and she owns and administrates her own camp for youth, 360 Soccer Academies. While coaching at Bowdoin College, she also worked with the Student Outdoor Leadership Center as the Head of Winter Mountaineering instructing students in winter backpacking, climbing, and trip planning curriculum. A graduate of The College of William and Mary with a degree in Studio Art, Maren also holds a Master of Science in Art Education from Syracuse University.
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Recent Posts

Sports Based Youth Development: Major League Baseball & the RBI Program

Posted by Maren Rojas on Jul 13, 2015 11:20:17 AM

One of the measures of the health of a sport is youth participation. As times change and there is more competition for kids’ time, how can you keep them invested in a sport like baseball, which has complex rules and proficiencies? Major League Baseball (MLB) is taking a close look at baseball in America, particularly among young people. Recent measurements show that the number of 6-18 year-olds playing baseball dropped 7% from 2008-2012, and MLB attendance rates overall are down 8% from 2008. While attendance rates have plateaued for several years, they have never fully recovered to the attendance rates of 2007 and 2008.

To combat these declines, MLB looked to their Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, a sports based youth development program designed to get more young people in urban areas involved with baseball. They wanted to know how they could keep baseball exciting for kids today, while at the same time keeping true to the values that make baseball so special.

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Topics: Sport Based Youth Development, Sports

Sports Based Youth Development: Sport System re-Design in Action

Posted by Maren Rojas on Apr 28, 2015 3:28:44 PM

So often we look at an issue in our sports based youth development programs and think we need to add something or dedicate more resources to fix it. But sometimes the best, most productive thing we can do is simply change the game itself. As I discussed in this earlier post, there are five different domains of the sport system that can be reimagined for specific outcomes:

  • Playing space
  • Equipment
  • Rules of the game
  • Roles of the referee/coach/supporters
  • Structure of the game or league

Let's now look at Brian McCormick, founder of Playmakers Basketball Development League, and Lawrence Cann, founder of Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) as two shining examples of how Sports System re-Design (SSrD) can have huge, positive effects on the outcomes for the participants.

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Topics: Sport Based Youth Development

Sports Based Youth Development: Sport System Re-Design

Posted by Maren Rojas on Apr 14, 2015 9:29:00 AM

Every sport has certain truths we all accept. You can’t touch the ball with your hands in soccer. A touchdown is worth six points. You can’t walk (or run) with the ball in basketball. But what if these rules weren't fixed? When you were a kid, did you ever reinvent part of a game due to obstacles or necessity? Maybe the power lines on your street kept knocking down passes so you re-did the down. Maybe your mom told you that you had to let your little brother play with your friends, so you made him play offense the entire game (even if you were not going to pass to him).

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Topics: Sport Based Youth Development, Sports