Soccer is the best sport in the world for many reasons. One of the great things things about youth sports in general are all the lessons kids can learn from being part of a team, dealing with failure and success, & setting and chasing goals.

The end game of playing soccer is scoring a goal but there’s a lot for coaches, parents, & players that goes into making that goal happen. If you ask many championship teams about the start of the season it begins with the players and coaches setting team goals to set them up for success. Setting and chasing individual and team goals is a huge part of scoring goals on the field.

That’s why we were so pleased to hear the story behind the Dribble Up ball that we shipped to McKenna’s family not long ago. Turns out that McKenna saw videos of people using the smart ball and decided that she wanted one for herself. She’s 8 years old but plays with girls 2 and 3 years older than her so she really needs good foot skills to compete with the older players.

Well she started saving up and at the start of the Spring season she ordered her very own Dribble Up ball. When we heard about her great goal setting and determination we asked if she’d be willing to share some of her story with us. Here are the questions we sent and the answers they sent back.


What made McKenna decide she wanted the Dribble Up ball and that it was worth saving up for?

She saw a video of how you can practice with an app and get graded on your progress-she was psyched from the start!

Did she have an idea when she started how long it would take to save her money?

No she didn’t, but she was determined to save up for it. She told anyone who would listen that she was saving her money for a “smart” soccer ball!

How did McKenna earn money to save up for the ball?

She saved her gift money and did various chores around the house (ie. Cleaning the yard, taking out the trash/recycles, even making her brother’s bed!)

Did she ever consider calling it off, that it was too big a challenge to save up? Did she have any setbacks?

She never had any setbacks, and never considered giving up. She did get frustrated at times with how long it took, but never gave up!

What kept her motivated to keep saving?

She would watch another video of people using it, or come back from soccer practice and she was motivated again.

Does McKenna set goals in soccer as well? 

Yes, she sets goals such as number of goals per game, assists, etc. one game she wanted to score 3 goals and she scored 5! She wants to improve her juggling. She hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet and it frustrates her:-(

What would she say to friends or teammates that might say some goals are too big for 8 year olds to achieve?

That it’s ridiculous! Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t do what others can.

Who in her life has inspired her to set goals?

My parents and coaches. Julie Ertz and Mallory Pugh from the USA Women’s Soccer Team.

What is she most excited about using the Dribble Up ball for?

To learn juggling and improve her footwork.

Do her coach and teammates know she’s been saving? Are they excited to try it out as well?

Yes and yes!

Does she think her ability to set and stick with goals will help her and her team on the soccer field?

Yes, by practicing her footwork!


I think it’s great that McKenna saved up for the ball for a lot of reasons.  How many times does a kid run out of practice and forget their ball or leave their soccer ball at a game. What are the odds are that McKenna’s going to leave her Dribble Up ball behind? Pretty slim I’d say.

Not only that but when you invest your time and energy into something you’re more likely to make use of it.

It’s also cool for anyone to be so passionate about something that they sacrifice in order to achieve it. Even cooler when you see that level of determination and drive in an 8 year old.

Good luck to McKenna in the rest of her season!