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WASA Eagles FC

Off-season soccer ideas/fun!

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letter to parents 11/07
Hello Eagle Parents,
I wanted to touch base as the Fall Season has ended and we move into the off-season activities. I have heard many great highlights from coaches, trainers, players, and families regarding the Fall Season. It's very cool how so many of you are being impacted in a positive way through the game of soccer. As the Thanksgiving Holiday has ended, I wanted to share my gratitude for being part of a fantastic club - the WASA Eagles FC.
Part of my position with the Eagles is to hire and lead trainers to  both help coaches and to help meet the needs of the individual players. We, as a training staff, work to come up with creative ideas  to meet these goals. Another part of my position is to look at the  off-season gaps and provide opportunities for players. In the past we  have offered off-season training opportunities – PODS, camps, etc. We  will continue to offer these experiences. At the bottom of this email  is my contact info along with Duncan Oughton's info (Director of  Senior Development) if you are interested in looking at setting up  some type of training for your team. This training time can be beneficial for players.
Having shared about off-season training opportunities, I also am VERY  passionate about the players being creative with their time AWAY from  these opportunities (working on skills on their own –repetition with the needed skills of soccer are CRUCIAL to improving AND players  setting up their OWN pick-up type games WITHOUT feedback from the coach/parents goes a LONG way as well in their development). To facilitate this CREATIVE use of time, I wanted to share some ideas with you.
Basement or Backyard Soccer (PUGs -pop-up goals- are a great gift for Christmas - easy on storage as well) WITH friends/ or family.
Juggling (any type of ball - mini soccer ball; hackeysack; futsal; nerf ball) - great if the players can find a place inside.
Soccer Tennis (we have played at camp so players should know rules - can play on tennis courts in off-seasonwith shoes that don't mark OR set up a court in driveway or basement. Great for foot skills!
Trail/ Neighborhood/ Biketrail Running  I started running around 9 years of age - 1-2 mile small runs with my Dad to begin, and then worked up to some 5K races. AWESOME for soccer fitness - take it slow, make it FUN to begin.
Agility Ladders - You can buy almost anywhere OR get some chalk and make on a patio or driveway. I go the cheaper route with chalk with my little ones and it worls great!
Below, is a link to download a 2 Month Blank Goal Chart and Calendar for players to document their training activities (if you have difficulty downloading, send me an e-mail).  Please print and put on the refrigerator - you can also use for academic goals, food choices, whatever, ...
Just a good reminder to see on the refrigerator or a bulletin board AND to have a record of all the cool things that your child has done in the off-season.
I also think it's fun to pursue other sport opportunities in the winter (if your children are interested). I am very thankful my SOCCER coach in the off-season growing up got us together to play pick-up basketball. #1 it was very FUN and entertaining, #2 it was great to play a different game and kept us fresh, and #3 it has great crossover to soccer. I also had opps to trail run in off-season, play hockey (not in a league but our own pick-up games), and much more – I am sure there are many other great opportunities out there. As my little ones grow bigger (Keira-7-, Keegan-5), we try our best to expose them to a lot of different physical activities. As a trainer, teacher, and Dad, I am VERY MUCH against picking 1 sport at a young age. I am thankful the WASA Eagles FC work within this model.
Thanks for your involvement with the Eagles!! Please (as always) feel free to send your feedback - cool stories of training staff, areas of improvement - and questions as well.
Rob Smith
Director of Player Development
WASA Eagles FC
Duncan Oughton
Click below to download Rob's chart

click here to download file