Israeli educator and sports coach Erez Lustig was born and raised in a country which adores soccer over most other sports, he fell in love with American football from a young age. His improbable love for the game can be traced to the way football “collaborates fun with values.” as well as his family in the United States sitting and watching the sport on television.
According to Erez Lustig program founder, football can be a vehicle for education. He told students that school with tests in language, history, and math is giving them their playbooks of how to win. He told them that they must be an athlete after becoming a student.
Nine years ago, 46 year-old Lustig founded an Israeli nonprofit “Young Champions,” which today brings together 200 boys and girls, ages 6 to 16, on four teams which practice after school. More recently, in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education he has brought American football to elementary schools, with programming for nearly 650 students.
Lustig was the only foreign coach in 1,200 football lectures and coaches by NFL and college-level head coaches attending a yearly clinic in Alabama. He told JNS that the meshuganah that came from Israel. And other coaches would quip whether he is lost or not.
But Lustig was not lost. He was on a mission and he said quite the opposite that through the acquisition of the culture and game of American football, life skills and values for children are promoted.
He stated that football is the vehicle for the education, adding that it is the responsibility of the educator to establish for students the foundation of values, such as how to work towards their targets.
In his classes, students learn problem solving, teamwork, creativity, respect and ‘American-style’ leadership and character, and teachers learn to “teach like coaches” applied both in the classroom and on the field.