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Soccer camp in Delphos hopes to build passion for the game PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, July 06, 2013 12:37 AM


Staff Writer

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DELPHOS — Even though the youth soccer establishment in Delphos has had a pretty good turnout over the years, the United States is still catching up to much of the rest of the world in terms of futbol, the “beautiful game” or however one may affectionately — and passionately — term the world’s most popular game.

Martin Harris would like to help change that.

Harris, a native of Great Britain, has returned to the United States as part of the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp to try and help rectify that situation.

He will be running the camp sponsored by the Delphos Soccer Association scheduled for July 22-26 at the St. John’s Annex.

Three different age groups will be offered comparative coaching and teaching: Mini Soccer, for ages 4-6, from 10:30 a.m.-noon; a Half Day Player Development Camp for ages 6-16 from 9 a.m.-noon; and a Full Day Player Development Camp for those aged 8-18 from either 9 a.m. to noon or 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Harris welcomes campers to attend and learn to their skill level.

“The more the merrier. We will see how many participants we have and adjust accordingly as to how many assistants I will have,” Harris explained. “We don’t rely on coaches from the area to be instructors but we bring in other coaches from the organization.”

For example, the Mini Soccer features fun games, competitions and skill-building activities that are designed to enlighten and develop budding players. The Half Day emphasizes skill development and mastery of core techniques through individual and small-group practices and coached games.

The Full Day is for more serious players, focusing on game-related techniques, tactical development and coached match play.

To various levels, participants will learn the ABCs (agility, balance and coordination); the Moves (20 different ways to turn, fake and beat an opponent); Freestyle (juggling, lifts and balances that help improve touch and control); Dribbling (change direction and move at speed while controlling the ball); Passing/Receiving (improve accuracy, pace and timing of passes and control); Shooting (improve technique, power and placement with both feet); Heading (safely and confidently head the ball in attack and defense); and Tackling/Defending (take the ball away from opponents and basic team defense).

Harris has some familiarity to the Tri-County area as he conducted a camp five years ago at the Annex.

“Back then, I was only a part-time instructor; this will be the first summer I have gone full-time so I will be moving to the United States,” he said. “I am based out of Chicago and as of right now, I am out promoting the camps. I will begin to do the instructing this month.

“I grew up playing the sport, ever since I was 4 or 5 years old. I have a passion for the game that I would like to spread and see it catch on here in the States more and more. I really like it here in Delphos and here in the States.”

In addition to promoting the camps, he also has a full slate during the year in coaching at least 12 teams of at least 12 players each.

“Again, the more the merrier for me. It never gets old,” he said. “I’ve been involved in coaching in one form or another for almost 10 years. However, I will be coaching long-term here instead of being here on a part-time basis.

“I do some different things in my camps. There’s the standard curriculum but, for example, I have what I call a ‘1,000-touches’ drill before we even stretch. It’s all about learning to get a good feel for the ball on the inside and the outside of the foot, moving side to side, front to back and so many ways. We do this for 15-20 minutes each day.

“We have the standard drills and then have the daily games. What I do is try to teach the participants about some of the teams in the English leagues; they get to know something about the players and about the history of the teams.”

For more information as to registration, fees and such, contact his host, Nate Ankerman, at 9557 SR 66, Delphos, Ohio 45833; by phone at (419) 234-6566; or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Participants are to bring a ball, shin guards, sunscreen and plenty of water each day.


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