New programs a welcome addition
In the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our newest soccer sites in this region. Soccer is alive and well and growing in popularity.
I had the pleasure to visit the newest sites in Hant’s Harbour and Avondale to conduct training sessions for their summer coaching staff.
The local recreation committee and municipal councils have supported the establishment of these programs. Parents are also starting to realize the importance of providing their children with daily physical activity opportunities.
Many hockey players are playing soccer because it is an excellent office cardio training activity.
Will soccer continue to expand in the coming years? I predict we will become a soccer force to be reckoned with in the next five to 10 years. We are producing better quality players each year who are more highly skilled and can compete with teams from much larger centres. This is made possible by hard work at the club level and through the fantastic work of individuals such as Mike Power, Scott Betts and Ian Marshall, who offer camps to clubs in this region.
Tip of the week
Is it better to separate male and female players, or have them play together on the same team? It depends on the size of the club and the age groups involved.
A small club will have no choice but to bring both groups together to field a team. However, as players get older, they may not want to play on mixed teams.
I have seen pros and cons of both scenarios. Having girls play with boys in under-12, under-14 and under-16 age groups forces female players to raise the level of their game, which makes them better soccer players.
However, some girls don’t like competing with the boys and oftentimes end up quitting soccer. The ideal situation is to have highly competitive male and female teams, but that is not the reality in our region.