Future soccer stars

The younger a player starts at the sport of soccer the better chances they have of staying with the sports and doing well.

Recent changes to UIL rules have had a positive effect on this year’s Mineral Wells Rams Soccer Camp with nearly double the numbers from last year taking part.

“Last year we had about 50 players taking part, and this year we have 45 kids that took part in the youth portion of the camp,” Coach Rolando Borjon said. “We also had 34 athletes taking part in the evening session.”

New UIL rules allow for actual coaching of sports teams during the summertime with limited hours and breaks during the week of July 4th and coaching school.

For the younger campers, it’s about the basics of soccer and also learning that players do a great deal of running.

“We are teaching fundamentals and trying to get them hooked on the sport,” Borjon said. “Soccer is a sport that involves a lot of running, and sometimes kids can get a little discouraged.”

To combat discouragement and boredom from creeping in Borjon likes to mix things up with a variety of drills that may not look like soccer, but they are designed to improve a player’s soccer skills.

One drill involved running out and grabbing a jersey laying on the field and then racing away from another player to the sideline and a safe-zone.

“We are baiting them in and making it fun while still hitting all the fundamentals of soccer,” Borjon said. “We don’t want to make it too complicated for new players. “ I want to keep it somewhere in the middle, where we are challenging players without overwhelming them.”

Many of the children attending this week’s soccer camp may be wanting to continue their soccer careers as soon as possible, and Borjon recommends seeking out the Mineral Wells Soccer Association as a way to get involved locally.

Realistically, if your child is 

play soccer the sooner they become involved the better. Arriving for high school soccer without any training and expecting to make the “A” team is pretty much an impossibility.

“If your athlete is showing an aptitude for soccer you may want to look at camps in the Marplot that are age and level appropriate,” Borjon said. “That can be a great benefit for athletes as the camps focus on the same level kids and bring them up.”

Some coaches might see playing select soccer as a hindrance to their programs, but Borjon believes that if coaches stay focused on bettering their athletes, they will also work together around schedules and training.

“If coaches keep the mindset of improving your athlete and helping them achieve their goals,” Borjon said. “We can all benefit.”

Recommended for you