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Kids learn more when they’re having fun.

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Coast Sports Alumni Off to College

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Coach Steve moving Dori into University of Pennsylvania dorm (actually both were taking returns to Bed ‘n Bath. 3 trips that day!)

Congratulations and good luck to all of our Coast Sports alumni, most of whom started with us when they were 4 (!), who are embarking upon their college careers:

Jillian Apel – Duke University

Jordan Davis – University of Wisconsin at Madison

Ian Ekstrom – University of Oregon

Jake Weniz – University of California, Berkeley

Daniel Riva – Emerson College

Shelby Schenkman – USC (with a pre-semester in Paris)

Sammy Schlessel – Tulane University

Michael Dworsky – Stanford University

Sam Reamer – Stanford University

Sarah Cohn – Indiana University

Mackenzie Gray – University of Pennsylvania

Adam Blau – Bates College

Jason Blau – University of Wisconsin at Madison

Grant Sholem – Brown University

Mackenzie Howe – Northwestern University

Maya Schneiderman – Ohio University

Grace Weinstein – Boston University

Claude Knobler – Duke University

Jahan Nanji – Columbia University

Sarah Mitchell – Southern Methodist University

 

 

More Coast Sports Camps in August, Plus Fall Camps

Wait, we’ve got plenty of summer left in us!

With LAUSD needing more time to prepare the Magnet campus for its imminently arriving students, Summer of Fun and Rookie Camp will be heading over to the Barrington Recreation Center for much of August.

We’ll be there for the weeks of August 4, 11 and 18, Monday-Friday from 9:30am-1:00pm.

Register for any or all weeks of our August Camp. Current reservations and packages will be honored!

Our 14th Annual Pre-Season Tune-Up/Pigskin Preview will be from August 25-28, Monday-Thursday, 9:30am-Noon. Register here.

And our Fall Classes are now on our Calendar and open for registration.

We have a YouTuber!

Summer of Fun ’14 camper, 11 year old budding filmmaker Allen Schultz, made this video to commemorate Wednesday’s Medieval Times’ theme.  Watch out Spielberg, step back Scorcese, Allen’s coming through…

Presenting Running 101 with Coach Juette

You can’t play if you can’t run. That’s a tried and true fact of sports. Coach Juette, who built his reputation coaching football at Harvard-Westlake and training athletes all over southern California, has devised a system that benefits lovers of all sports.

Juette will be presenting camps at Barrington Park through the summer:

Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs

Mondays for 4 weeks – June 23, June 30, July 7, July 14

WRDB Juette

Speed and Agility Camp

Wednesdays for 4 weeks – June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16

$200 per session

Girls and Boys, ages 9-17

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Barrington Park, 333 S. Barrington, LA (Rec Center side)

Click here to register or download the registration form to complete and bring on your first day.

SAC Juette

Our Illustrious Alumni!

Jillian Apel, quintessential camper, amazing coach and card-carrying Pali-Cat, will go from Devil-Cat to Blue Devil as a member of the Duke University Class of 2018…  Congratulations, Jillian!

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Sofie Fier, a Rookie camp mainstay, has been named Miss Palisades 2014.  Based on talent, community service and an on-stage interview, the judges recognized Coach Sofie for the extraordinary individual that she is.

Congratulations Coach Sofie…

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Elliot Baumohl, original camper (2001) and longtime coach, has just been accepted into USC’s Thornton School of Music.  The success of the Class of 2018 is now assured.  Rock on, Elliot…

Elliot 2014

SPRING CLASSES START THIS WEEK

Spring is officially here! At least on our coast. ;)

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That means our spring classes start this week. You’ll find the schedule of classes on our calendar – including our new Soccer X class for those who’ve already played AYSO and are looking for some more skills and scrimmages.

 

 

Spring Break Camp

We will also be offering Spring Break camp for an entire month! March 24 – April 17, Monday-Thursday, 9:30 – Noon at Barrington Park. $45/day or $150/4 day week. 3.5-8 year olds. Our regular class schedule will continue unchanged. Registration for spring break camp is  ready!

 

 

 

A Month of Spring Break…can Summer Camp be far behind?   

Summer Camp will be here before you know it: June 11 – August 7.  Year 14 of Summer of Fun and Rookie Camp.  Still at Brentwood Magnet School.  Still the most creative, most flexible, most fun program in town.  Registration up shortly…

Breaking News!

Dori Dani 2011
Coach Dori Morris accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018 where she will be reuniting with Coach Dani Cohen, Class of 2017!

10 Terms to Leave Off the Soccer Field

Along with strong individual skills, and a vibrant team concept, good communication is one of the hallmarks of a good soccer team.  Teams that talk – “man on,” “turn,” “down the line” – keep everyone aware of opportunities and peril.  The best coaches do their talking in training and at halftime, but in much of youth soccer, there is an incessant din emanating from the sideline.  Coaches and parents shout conflicting commands, confusing the players and robbing them of their autonomy and creativity.  Eliminating this chatter is a worthy, if difficult, goal.  Deleting the list of terms and exhortations below from the vocabulary of coaches, parents and all soccer devotees would be a heckuva start.

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1. Shoot.  Most often bleated by coaches and spectators when a player is within striking distance of the opponent’s goal.  Designed to hasten the decision-making process, the player hearing this often freezes or uncorks a hastily prepared and poorly struck ball right to the goalkeeper.  In a recent game, one parent shouted “Shoot” to his U10 daughter every time she touched the ball – and she was playing defense fifty yards from the goal.  When the urge to shout “Shoot” strikes, stifle it.

2. C’mon, Ref!  (Or any variation…  Probably the phrase uttered most frequently in a match, always pegged to a perceived slight or grievance.  That the protest will compel the recipient to amend or reverse his call is a vain hope that dishonors the game and demeans the yeller.  Good calls and bad calls, like good and bad coaching (and good and bad playing), are an integral part of the game.  Leave the ref alone.

3. Hand ball!  An involuntary, heaven-rattling exclamation erupts from an entire sideline the instant a ball touches, or appears to touch, a player’s hand or arm.  Meant to alert the referee, who is usually only inches from the alleged transgression, and coerce him to assess a foul on the other team.  The charge elicits the equally-aggrieved “no way!” from the opposite sideline. Usually the call is of little consequence, but when flagged in the penalty area, the fate of mankind can hang in the balance.  Best advice?  Breathe.  The sun will come out tomorrow.  This is California.

4. Big Kick.  An alarm raised when the ball is rolling or bouncing towards a defender under pressure, the term encourages a desperate and uncontrolled response.  In soccer we don’t “kick” the ball.  We strike it, pass it, cross it, drive it and shoot it.  We chip it, volley it, curl it and, even occasionally, toe poke it.  All of these terms denote a specific – and directed – response.  Soccer strives for elegance, poise and clarity of action and communication. Keeping one’s head and intelligently playing the ball out of danger, by looking for a smart outlet, is to be preferred over blindly whacking the crap out of it, which by the way, in youth soccer often results in a big whiff.

Yes, there are penalty kicks, corner kicks, direct and indirect kicks but these are nouns, not verbs; they refer to precise, unambiguous actions, not the act of hitting the ball.

5. Send it!  A smarter-sounding cousin of Big Kick, this one also fails the specificity test.  The screamer is demanding that the ball be “sent” upfield, but to where?  Towards the touch line?  Towards the open midfielder on the left?  Towards the forward smothered by two defenders?  Apparently anywhere out of immediate danger is good enough. But for the care and feeding of budding soccer players, it shouldn’t be.

And then there’s the frantic Away!, the soccer version of the Harry Potter disappearing charm, “Expelliarmus.” Panicked keepers and coaches will command their defenders to make the ball disappear.  Banish it to Azkaban or anywhere else away from the goal.

6. Goalie’s out…  He’s scrambled to the edge of the box to make an acrobatic save and is out of position when the ball lands at your player’s feet.  Everyone wants to let this potential hero know he’s got a wide open, if 30 yard, opportunity.  Problem is it takes great self-possession to strike or chip (not kick) a ball over distance or the flailing-to-get-back keeper’s head.  When prompted by a crazed sideline, the task becomes even more difficult. See SHOOT above.  And watch the ball sail over the crossbar.

7. It’s 0-0.  No, it’s not.  One team has just scored.  And they’re leading by one, two or three goals.  As the players trot back to midfield for the kick-off, the coach shouts out, “all right, gang, it’s 0-0!” Designed to prevent a let-down (teams often do get scored upon right after they’ve netted a goal) and urge the troops to focus and recommit, this silly phrase rallies no one but the mathematically challenged.

8. Take a lap.  And with that the coach sends his team or a player on an unsupervised, unfocused trip around the training ground.  Out of touch and usually out of hailing distance, the “lap” gives the players license to goof around, cut corners or even walk.  Less odious when ordered for a warm-up than as a punishment, a lap has little relevance to the game of soccer.  How much long distance jogging does a player do in a game?  Exactly.  Still committed to laps?  Try sticking a ball at your players’ feet.  At least let them get some touches on the tour.

9. Are you kidding me?  What are you thinking?  Or… How did you miss that?  All of these expressions weep with frustration and disbelief.  Yet none of them (or any variants, expletives added or deleted) serves any positive purpose.  A player knows when he’s screwed up.  Putting an exclamation point on it only delays his ability to shake it off and redeem himself.  Substitute the neutral “Unlucky!” and witness the player’s miraculous rebound.

10. Anything uttered by a parent or spectator that is more instructive or critical than “Nice play,” “Great effort,” or “Way to go.”  The game many of them are watching has only one kid in it:  theirs.  Even the most visually expansive, when sending up a cry or a protest, are denigrating the dignity of the game.  Parents don’t coach.  And they don’t criticize.  They cheer.  Try it.  Your kids will thank you.

11. Trash talking.  Mostly a player phenomenon, this can rear its ugly head at any age.  From the U6 high five line, with one team smacking hands, saying, “bad game,” to the older hormone-riddled gangsters of U13 and up. It’s a regular and disturbing part of the game.  My 15 year old, however, learned a valuable lesson this past weekend. Returning to his position he passed the other team’s defender and started to dish out a helping of abuse.  The defender held up his hand.  “I don’t trash talk,” he said.  “I don’t have anything against you or your team.  I just want to play good hard soccer.”  My kid stopped, thought for a moment, then fist-bumped the kid.  “Respect,” he said.

Respect is what it’s all about.  Respecting the players, the officials, and the game itself.  Lose a little of this lingo and you’ll see how much better life on the sidelines can be.

 

Coaches – vs – Refs – An Epiphany

During the summer we hold Don’t Do This At Home Day at camp.  As part of the festivities we stage a whining contest.  The kids step up in front of their peers and each tries to outdo the next in demonstrating how grating and annoying he or she can be.  If one should stumble upon the magic words, “it’s not fair,” indispensable ingredients of every fine whine, promotion to the next round is automatic.

I was reminded of this while reviewing issues that arose during Silent Saturday.  Despite our cautions and admonitions we still received reports of heated reactions to ref calls, coaches violating the spirit of the day and several coach and parent ejections.  Similar incidents occur weekly during the fall, and seasonally in All-Stars and EXTRA.  They erupt in baseball, basketball and flag football, as well as in dance, debate, and almost all activities where kids are coached, trained and judged by adults.  And they can all be reduced to three little words – “it’s not fair.”

video thumbnail burp contest

From the age of 4, this is our kids’ response to the injustices or inequalities they perceive in their universe.  A sibling gets an extra cookie or can stay up later.  A friend is allowed to get her ears pierced (but not during the season, of course).  A teammate has a stronger kick.  Kids, expecting a fair and just world, express this protest with a relentlessness that is maddening. Hearing our kids screech “it’s not fair” triggers a frosty resolve that precludes dialogue, compromise or concession.

Yet “it’s not fair” is the mantra we are invoking when we complain about offside calls, late-game penalty kicks, unbalanced teams or perceived advantages that are denied to our kids or our teams.  It is us channeling our inner kid, reacting to a situation we really can’t change.  How often is “it’s not fair” rewarded with an extra cookie, a later bedtime, or a referee reversing his call?  Exactly.

18 top 10There’s a delicious irony here.  In the moments that scream loudest for our maturity, wisdom and patience – in other words, for us to act like adults – we find ourselves behaving like little kids. By our protests, we think we are protecting and supporting our kids, but actually we’re perpetuating an unrealistic and unsustainable view of the world.  We know that life isn’t fair and that no one promised it would be.  We know that things might not go our way this time or next time or any time this season.  But over the long haul, life has a way of getting it close.  These are the lessons we need to teach our kids – sportsmanship, self-discipline, resilience – not that the ref is biased or blew the call or lost us the game.

Ultimately the kids are right.  And we are right too.  It’s not fair.

But it’s fair enough.