The fall slate of LIJSL Club Development Days wrapped up on Saturday, November 2, which concluded another successful run of dates with an ever-growing amount of participation from clubs.
During the course of the different dates nearly 30 clubs and over 150 teams took part.
“This is our second time,” HBC Travel Director/Registrar Jim Neuberger. “HBC has a couple of teams here. We’re committed to developing our kids and helping them get the experience for when they go to travel.”
Jenn Costa, who is the Garden City Centennials Soccer Club Intramural Director, took in the Club Development Day experience with her girls’ team for the first time.
‘I think it was a great experience for all of them,” she said. “Playing different levels of teams and different coaching styles was a nice experience.”
Another bonus of the Club Development Days and its festival-like atmosphere was the addition of a DJ, hammering the point home of fun being at the forefront of the events.
Costa added: “Having music playing was just a fun experience for the parents and the girls. It was really positive.”
“The DJ adds a great component,” POB VP of Boys Intramurals said. “It creates an atmosphere of fun and excitement and there has to be something wrong with you if you don’t have fun.”
POB are one example of a club that has continued to have an imprint with several teams at each event and Wood explained why.
“I think it’s a great opportunity and the way I pitch it to our kids and membership is that it’s a perfect opportunity to come out and have the kids have fun in a low-pressure environment, where they are still getting the experience of playing against other towns, which is a little more than we’re doing on the weekends in our intertown, intramural league.”
With the low-pressure environment that is geared around the young players having the chance to learn and have fun, just being on the field and getting as much time with the ball is crucial.
“I love the fact that it’s purely about soccer,” Kings Park Director of Coaching Alex Cerovic said. “We kind of strip away all of the things when they get older – who they are playing, the league, the points. Right now, it’s really about playing, like we’re in the backyard. Ultimately that’s all you’re looking for at this age. Just the pure enjoyment of playing.”
The goal of the Club Development Days is also to create an event that teams and players will want to come back to time and time again.
“For me personally, it’s really about can we get them to show up again,” Cerovic said.
And with more days on the field kicking the ball and having fun, the players will ultimately better their technique.
When asked what he hopes his players take away from their participating during Club Development Days, Neuburger’s answer was simple and one that was echoed by all.
“Just to develop their understanding of the game and that’s through repetition,” he said.
More info on Club Development Days can be found here.