I’m always nervous before a youth or coaching clinic. Sure, people sign up, but they have lives and other things to do. What if they don’t show?
Wednesday night’s clinic was unique in that the venue, Eureka Fire Station #2, is next door to Six Flags. What if the adults decided to go ride the Screamin’ Eagle instead of learning how not to be a screaming coach?
The cars showed up one by one and soon they were double-parked, squeezing in at funny angles and just plain blocking each other. Denny Vaninger, coaching director of the Missouri Youth Soccer Association and lead clinician of the Coach It Right! Soccer Clinics, was fine to pack them in.
“The room holds 40. I think we have 80 coaches here. As long as the firefighters are cool with it, we’ll make it work.”
Before a clinic, I’ll send an email to the registrants giving them directions and saying if they have a friend who didn’t sign up, but wants to take the course, bring them along. We won’t turn anyone away.
They took me up on my offer this time. They brought friends.
All the chairs were filled. People went and got chairs from their cars. Those who didn’t have chairs sat on the floor. I had to take the picture above from the corner because there were six or seven coaches seated on the floor behind Coach Vaninger.
Coaches come out like this to learn from great coaches. And there isn’t a better youth coach, in any sport, than Denny Vaninger. His primary lesson centers on letting kids play soccer. Every drill is designed for kids to play with the soccer ball. They even have a ball during water breaks.
Vaninger said, “Sometimes, the best training session is to just let the kids scrimmage against each other. They want to play and it gives you a chance to figure things out.”
If you missed the first clinic, that’s OK. We have two more this season. Click on the flyer below to register. Every coach who completes the course will receive their Youth Coaching Certificate from the Missouri Youth Soccer Association free of charge.
Thanks again to all the coaches who came out on Wednesday and to those who couldn’t make it, we’ll see you soon. I promise Holy Spirit and Ursuline Academy has more than enough room for you and your friends.