The Wisconsin mens and womens soccer teams welcomed some of the futures potential soccer stars at the University of Wisconsin Soccer 2004 Winter Clinics held Jan 15-18. Approximately 45 boys and girls, ages six through 12 participated in the weekend clinic which emphasized improving techniques such as passing, shooting and goaltending.
I think the camp was great, Wisconsin mens assistant coach Nick Pasquarello said. The turnout was phenomenal compared to what we had last year. The feedback that we got back from the parents and the kids was outstanding.
For the camp-goers a major thrill was to play on the same turf as college athletes at Wisconsins McClain Center. A lot of the kids just enjoyed being inside the McClain where the Badgers play, Pasquarello said.
The parents were equally appreciative of the opportunities presented at the camp. Over the course of the weekend we had a number of comments from parents that they were very ecstatic about what we were doing, Wisconsin mens head coach Jeff Rohrman said. It was nice for [the campers] to come in and utilize the McClain facility, and see what were able to train on. With the new surface, it really simulates what theyre going to be dealing with through the spring, summer and fall.
The clinic focused on developing fundamentals, starting with the basics. We touched on a little bit of everything, Pasquarello said. We did the simple stuff passing and receiving. We spent a lot of time on shooting because the kids always love to do shooting. We also spent time on some goalkeeping and some juggling and heading.
Most of it was more toward the technical end of things, Rohrman said. We worked on the basic skills, refining and developing some of those areas, because at that age, thats really the most important part of it. When you incorporate that with some fun, where [the participants] come away with a good feeling about the sport of soccer, hopefully you excite them about it to the point that theyre going to stay with the game and continue to improve and keep striving to get better and better.
The camp coaching staff combined technical aspects with fun competitions to keep the children enthusiastic about soccer while learning basic skills. We played a lot of games, Wisconsin womens assistant coach Zac Shaw said. It was `edutainment.
For the camp staff, the clinic was not only a place to teach soccer fundamentals, but also a chance to instill enthusiasm about the game in the participants. Its just refreshing to see that there are so many kids out there that enjoy the game and want to get better and really want to develop their skills, Rohrman said. I think part of our job is to improve them as players, and also develop a love for the game so that they continue to play as much as they can.
The Wisconsin soccer staff will continue to develop skills and foster enthusiasm among young soccer players with two more camps this summer. The day clinic, which will run from Monday, June 21 through Friday, June 25, is open to boys and girls ages six through 14, and will be held at four different locations: the UW campus, Verona, Middleton and East Madison.
The mens and womens teams will also hold separate overnight camps on the Wisconsin campus, open to those age 10-18. The womens clinic will run from Sunday, July 18 through Thursday, July 22, and the mens will take place Sunday, July 25 through Thursday, July 29.
Campers can look forward to more learning through gaming in the summer. [The camps will be] more of the same, Shaw said. I think its important that they enjoy themselves. I think that if theyre not having fun then theyre not going to be learning anything.
Please contact mens assistant coach Nick Pasquarello at NRP@athletics.wisc.edu or visit uwbadgers.com for more information.