Fiona at Soccer Camp

_MG_9761Fiona had a great week at soccer camp. I think she really enjoyed playing. She hopped right out of bed everyday to get ready to go.

She really liked picking out which soccer jersey she would wear each day. Coach Mike called her that player’s name all day and it made her giggle every time.

A real highlight was when she got her medal. She was SOOO excited and kept saying over and over again, “It’s my first medal!!”

She was thrilled when I told her that when she plays on her fall soccer “team” (Solebury Soccer kindergarten soccer) that she will probably get a trophy.

Although she had a great time at soccer camp, the state of Solebury Soccer is really a shame. We’ve been doing this camp since Jack was five. Most years, there have been well over a hundred players, close to 150 a couple of years. This year, I counted 46 players. I don’t know if this reflects: general disinterest in soccer, loss of players to football and cheerleading, competition from other soccer training organizations or all of the above.

(Reflecting on Jack’s treatment by the Solebury Soccer Club and the U12 Solebury Storm coach, this really makes me feel like it’s a shame that  Solebury Soccer Club is pushing away talented athletes when there are so few demonstrating interest in their programs.

I wonder how the high school coach feels about the Solebury Soccer club developing non-township players, when the high school team HAS to be made up of Solebury school district kids and the club coaches have pushed them away from soccer?

I wonder how “Friends of Laurel Park” feels about it? It often seems that the “Friends” of Laurel Park don’t even want Solebury kids playing in the park — do you think they want to support kids from other townships using the limited Solebury Park resources?

I guess in a couple years the number of Solebury players in the Solebury Soccer Club will be outnumbered by players from other townships, if this trend continues.)

Because of the low numbers, the camp ran warm-ups as a group for the first 30-40 minutes. I was really disappointed in this. That meant that Fiona was expected to warm up with 10-, 11- and 12-year-old travel players doing complicated footwork  and passing drills.

She’s FOUR and has never played organized soccer. She doesn’t know what “three touches and then a volley to the other player” means, and even if she did, I don’t think she should be expected to do that at the level of a skilled travel player. She became very frustrated during warms ups because she felt like she wasn’t doing well. I’m sure it was equally as frustrating for the older travel players who were slowed down by her lack of skills.

Things got a little bit better when the camp broke into three groups. Then, Fiona was in a group with 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds. Because she’s a pretty good athlete, she did OK with that group, but she didn’t learn nearly as much as Jack and Owen did when they did this camp and Solebury Soccer Club was more popular, so there were enough kids to have a more homogeneous age group and focus on age-appropriate skills.

In all, she had fun, but I don’t think she was given a fair chance to learn very much about soccer. Photos are here from her week at soccer camp (including the ones I already posted).

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