Welcome to Part I of the 4-Part Series on the 2019 CASA Summer Camp.
This is an account of our experience on a sunny first day of CASA Summer Camp in Holly Ridge, NC on June 17, 2019.
Camp Kick off
The CASA Summer Camp kicked off just after 9 AM, as there were a few stragglers still checking in. Everyone gathered together for Coach introductions and then the fun began.
Coach PJ Wakefield and a volunteer coach started off with a game of “Head or Catch.” When the Coach says, “Head” the player must catch the ball. When the Coach says, “Catch” the player must head the ball. If you get it wrong, you have to sit down. The last one standing, of course, wins. When players practice this game, their speed with reaction time should improve.
You might be a little surprised that the coaches were having the kids head the ball, right? Yes, there are rules against heading during games at younger ages. The difference here is that it wasn’t a soccer game or scrimmage situation where the ball is moving at high speeds. This was simply a light toss and a little bonk with the head. PJ would most often say, “Head” (meaning catch) for the youngest kids and then mix it up for the older ones.
A water break followed the Head or Catch game. The campers had enough time to get a little bit of a snack and then come back together for the next activity.
Next, everyone partnered up to practice dribbling skills using cones. One of the drills was to do a figure 8 around two spaced-out cones with the inside and outside of the right foot. Then switch to the left on the next round. Each drill is built upon the previous one. For example, they would go slow to figure it out and then increase speed the next round. Basically a technical progression. In my opinion, this is a great way to teach a skill.
Coach PJ made things a little more interesting when he asked everyone to keep a count of their rotations. This made things more competitive, which in turn had them striving to do better, and go faster.
After the technical skills training and a water break, the Coaches brought the campers together for a chat about shooting balls at the net. Coach Mike asked the players to watch the body movements of each goalie as the shots were taken.
The lesson here is to be observant of how a goalie reacts to shots to determine weaknesses. Those weaknesses show a striker where they could have an edge, thereby having more success. This ended up being quite entertaining for everyone. Usually, when the kids aren’t really participating in the action, they get distracted and stop paying attention. There were a few, but most of the kids stayed engaged.
The scrimmages are my favorite part of a soccer camp. This is where all the training and practice come together. A player’s skills and abilities are put on display which can be very entertaining, especially when Ava is on her game. Two teams were made up and the match was on. There as a good hustle and some fantastic goals scored and saves made. The Coaches were very encouraging and gave direction when needed.
After scrimmages, the campers joined back up for a closing word, which included praise for a great effort put forth. Everyone was sent on their way, hopefully looking forward to day 2 as much as Ava and I were.
Join us tomorrow for Part II, Day 2 of CASA Summer Soccer Camp. You can view live streams (usually between 11 AM – 12 PM), photos and camp videos on Ava’s Facebook Page.
CASA Summer Soccer Camp: Part II
CASA Summer Soccer Camp: Part III
Jacksonville, NC Area Summer Soccer Camps
Wilmington, NC Area Summer Soccer Camps
CASA – Coastal Area Soccer Association
JATA Soccer Camp Review 2018