Recognising and Promoting C.A.R.D.S.

Last season, when I was developing session plans, I tried to make sure that, as a coach, I was giving the children opportunities to develop their C.A.R.D.S. – their creativity, awareness, resilience, decision-making and self-organisation. But over the summer I thought, why stop at the coach? If CARDS are important skills to develop then shouldn’t we make the children aware (!) of them, and let them be actively involved in that learning?

So, this season we’ve started giving out badges to promote CARDS and to recognise the children’s progress in developing the CARDS skills.


My U10s were really amped about them, which is reason enough to do it. In addition to that, it gives me an opportunity to make it clear to them that CARDS are things that we value. And when someone is recognised for great progress, we can talk about what it was that was so good, and why.

About the design of the badges…

As an aside, when I designed the badges I took ages deciding on how to represent CARDS as images. Using a light-bulb as a rugby ball for “Creativity”, was my first idea and it came to me fairly quickly, but the others I struggled with.

Especially “Resilience”. I bounced some ideas off a friend and we thought of having two rugby balls as mountains (with snow on the peaks) – to represent climbing and never giving up. Yeah, a bit contrived. I settled on the idea of a spring because you bounce back after adversity.

“Awareness”, was going to be the Eye of Providence because my son thinks its awesome for some reason, but I decided it had too much of a religious overtone and settled on an eye in a rugby ball.

“Decision-making” was going to be question marks and a giant tick for making the right decision…and was such an awful idea, I ended up going for more of a logic branching icon. Unfortunately it’s turned out to be more of a trident!

And “Self-organisation” was tricky too. I wanted something along the lines of a crystal lattice (molecules self-organising), but it looked a bit fiddly. In the end I went for a simplified, three person huddle motif. Although, my U10s are convinced it’s a fidget spinner!

Anyway, there’s a reason I’m explaining the design process – it’s not because I think they’re awesome. It’s because shortly after I ordered the badges, I came across this image!


Wait, what?!


I really thought I was being CREATIVE, yet what I had come up with was really close to something that had already been done! There is irony in there somewhere. 🙂

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