Waterloo Minor Soccer Club and RIM Park were buzzing with activity and 100 excited soccer players from August 10th – 14th for the WMSC Everton Pro Skills Camp. The club’s technical team was joined by three visiting coaches from the Everton in the Community Academy program from England.
Players ages eight to fourteen participated in the camp. They learned new skills, and took part in exciting drills and skills competitions for five days. All of the players were excited to meet our guest coaches and it was clear within the first hour of the camp that it was sure to be a great success. Everyone was getting along well and the players were having a blast – all the months of planning and investment into the event was certainly paying off.
At Waterloo Minor Soccer a great emphasis is placed on both player development as well as coach development. We immediately began planning ways to combine the two for this camp. Our three visiting coaches; Louise, Steven, and John were more than happy to help us achieve both of these goals. They immediately began planning two coaching sessions that would be open to all of our club coaches which would once again tie together the two pillars of player and coach development. During the day our visiting coaches worked closely with all 100 players as well as members of our technical committee and our skills staff to ensure that all players were receiving the best training and were improving over the course of the week. Louise, Steven, and John presented two coach sessions focusing on player identification and player evaluation and their take on it at the Everton in the Community Academy program.
Right from the beginning it was evident that our grassroots approach in Ontario is very different from some of the insights the Everton coaches were presenting us with; but they were very supportive and understanding of the work we are doing here at a skills development level. During an overlap of activities Louise, Steven, and John were able to watch an exhibition game one of our U11 teams against a visiting team from Trinidad; they couldn’t get over how supportive all of the parents on the sidelines were and that the focus was placed so heavily on teamwork rather than simply scoring goals. Louise was quick to share her thoughts and praises for the club on Twitter stating, “what an amazing job WMSC are doing to grow the game in Canada. The kids love their football. What an amazing week at camp so far.”
The positive feedback received from players and parents alike was overwhelming. All parents and players were quick to say that they would sign up for a camp of this nature again in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the visiting coaches and we know it is a very memorable experience that will stay with our players for a long time to come. We hope this is the beginning of a lasting relationship and that we can continue to offer similar camps in the future.