Young players will develop skills and build friendships at the Riptide Spring Soccer Academy. Photo supplied

North Island soccer program hosts spring academy

Each year, the Riptide Spring Soccer Academy attracts 100-plus players for training in a quality and demanding environment.

The goal for the program is to elevate the level of play, and to raise the level of education for parents and families with respect to opportunities for hard-working, talented young soccer players.

For 20 years, director/head coach Shel Brodsgaard has been training and developing young soccer players who have advanced to the collegiate and professional level, and to selection to provincial and youth national team programs.

This program model is skill-based, where boys and girls train and play together.

The academy offers three weekly sessions, two mid-week and one weekend. Training sessions are 90 minutes each. Technical and tactical training will prepare individuals and teams to play at a high level. Specialized goalkeeper training will also be provided.

Players will also receive guidance from guest coaches.

The fee for the program is $500, which includes two training shirts, shorts and socks.

Goalkeeper Development

The focus of the program will be to provide an optimal learning environment for goalkeepers to develop skills of the position. The program will have a well-rounded approach that includes instruction on technical elements, and a focus on development of the tactical awareness required to excel. The technical aspects will work on areas such as footwork and handling, shot stopping, distribution, taking crossed balls, and one-on-one situations. Other factors such as mentality, physical strength, and technical and tactical awareness will be considered when placing a goalkeeper in a respective group. Most importantly, all goalkeepers will receive a positive experience in a rewarding environment.

Mentor Coaching

The benefit for the community-based development model is that future coaches come from within the program. Many have become an inspirational part of the learning process for the younger players. Positive relationships are developed between age groups and gender with the added benefit of utilizing older players as mentor coaches. Suitable applicants include players who have a passion for the game and display a natural tendency for working with youth.

Along with Brodsgaard, Ash Mohtadi, Stephen Hall and other Riptide coaches will be the technical leads, plus a host of mentors from the Riptide program.

A Spring Academy information meeting is planned for Monday, March 9 from 6:30–8 p.m. at the Comox Valley United Soccer Club clubhouse at Valley View Park.

Register at riptidesoccer.ca/academy. Registration closes March 31.

For questions, contact upperislandriptide@gmail.com

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