Soccer camp teaches the game with an international flair
Young soccer players in Carbon County got a chance to learn the game of soccer last week with a bit of an international flair added to it.
Challenger Sports held a British Soccer Camp in Price throughout the week of June 27 - July 1 for children aged 3 - 16 at Castle Heights Elementary. The camp helps teach players many different techniques to be a more knowledgeable soccer player. For the first time players, the camp focuses on learning the skills to start playing while the older players spend more time involved in more advanced exercises to hone their skills.
While the players a lot about soccer within a five day period, the trainers learn and experience a lot more themselves. Barry Richardson, 21, from Glasgow, Scotland is in his second year as a trainer for the Challenger Sports soccer camp. Throughout the summer, trainers go from place to place each week training youth on how to play the game. While on the road, trainers quickly immerse themselves into each area including living with a host family.
"You get to meet a lot of new friends and get to experience a lot while working as a trainer," Richardson said. "Every time I go home I'll tell my friends about how good of an experience this was."
Because the camp is spread throughout the country, Richardson and the other trainers working in Price focus on teaching the game to players in nearby states including Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Richardson competes on a semi-professional team in Scotland but loves the experience that the camp provides to the trainers.
"Every day you learn something new working with the kids," Richardson said.
Richardson and the other camp trainers worked with the young players on several techniques such as kicking the ball without using the tip of the cleat, keeping possession of the ball with defenders in the area and more. Many of the exercises are done in a way to keep the kids engaged in the specific drill, but the trainers add in their own little techniques to bring in a little fun as well.
Working with a group of younger players, Richardson had them use their skills of keeping the ball away from a defender. He got down on the field in a crab-like position and had the players try to get past him to the other side. Those players who lost their ball then joined in with Richardson acting as crabs trying to steal the ball from the remaining players until the drill was completed.
The progress the camp attendees show over the course of a week can be remarkable, no matter what age they may be, Richardson explained.
"Seeing a young player progress and pick up the techniques throughout the week is incredible to watch," he said.
According to Challenger Sports' website, the runs camps all throughout the U.S. and Canada over the summer and will coach over 150,000 players in the Challenger Sports British Soccer, TetraBrazil camp, Basketball and other multi-sport camps.
While trainers may only have one week to work with the players, Richardson said watching the players use the skills they learned over the course of a week is one of the best parts about working as a trainer. While his playing days won't last forever, Richardson said the opportunity to coach young soccer players now may be something he will pursue down the road.
"It's been one of the best experiences of my life," Richardson said. "Seeing their enthusiasm for playing and helping them learn the game is fun to see."
For more information about Challenger Sports and the camps they run, go to their website at www.challengersports.com.