Jacksonville Daily Progress
While some summer sports camps go to the extreme to create cutesy games to get participants interested in the respective sport, the Jacksonville Soccer Camp, which completed its early-summer run last week — additional installments are scheduled for July 8-11 and July 22-25 — took a different route.
Camp director Rafael Gonzalez, who is also head soccer coach (men's and women's) at JC, decided to use many of the same drills that the college players are put through, with the only difference being the distance and duration being scaled back to fit the ages of the campers.
“The basics of soccer are the same for children as they are adults,” Gonzalez explained as the campers took a timeout for refreshment and a bit of shape on a warm June morning last week at the Bill McRae Soccer Complex on the JC campus. “The skills an older player will need to be able to boot the ball 30 yards down the field accurately are the same sills that these children have been learning in camp. Sometimes the college players will say, 'coach these drills are boring, I've been doing these drills since I was a child'. But they still apply and they are what makes successful soccer players.”
Gonzalez, who also offered instructions in Spanish to help facilitate a better understanding for some of the children, said that those in attendance learned individual skills as well as exercises that fostered a sense of teamwork.
Assisting Gonzalez in Session I were Lady Jaguar soccer players Katie West and Hallie Mathis.
NOTE: For more information on future JC Soccer Camps, which are $50 per player per session, contact Gonzalez (phone 903-393-2848 or by email at email@example.com).