WLU Women’s Team Teaches Fundamentals

YMCA’s Kiddie Soccer Clinic finishes its four-week camp

Members of the West Liberty women’s soccer team take a picture with 40 young athletes during the YMCA Kiddie Soccer Clinic on Sunday morning. Photo Provided

WHEELING–The great thing about athletics in the United States is that kids have the choice to participate in any sport they wish.

They can lace up the cleats on the gridiron, the sneakers on the hardwood or the spikes on the diamond.

On Sunday, 40 young athletes chose soccer as they filled the J.B. Chambers YMCA in Elm Grove for the Kiddie Soccer Clinic.

West Liberty women’s soccer coach Barry Christmas was joined by 25 members of his team as they taught the fundamentals of the game to an eager and energetic group of 4 and 5-year olds.

“There are a lot of sporting choices in this country,” Christmas said. “There are a lot more of what you would describe as mainstream sports or tier one sports like football, baseball and basketball.

“So, to see so many young kids wanting to get involved in soccer is great.

“At this age, you are kind of relying on the parents as a resource to get them around and provide them with as many different opportunities in as many different sports as possible. That is really what it’s about.”

Sunday wrapped up a four-week clinic that was hosted by four local college teams.

The Wheeling Jesuit men and women squads provided assistance during the first two sessions, while the Bethany men aided the third and West Lib’s women controlled the final event.

“This is the first year that local colleges were involved and we would definitely look to be involved in something like this on a more regular basis,” Christmas said. “It’s important that our players give back to the community and have the opportunities to share time with the young kids.

“It was a pretty impressive turnout from our players (Sunday). It’s fantastic. They’ve been really looking forward to it and for them to have the opportunity to share a little soccer knowledge with some of the local kids is great. It worked out well for everybody.”

The kids enjoyed every minute of the afternoon as the Hilltoppers taught them the basics of the game, while also supplying a fun atmosphere for everyone involved.

“We had a lot of fun,” Christmas said. “We broke kids into small groups, so they had a lot of individual attention from the West Liberty women.

“The players organized the little drills and the kids were in little teams, so it was pretty structured and organized.

“We just focused on the fundamentals of the game such as dribbling, passing, keeping the ball close and really just having the kids build a relationship with the ball at this age.”

It’s safe to say that the clinic put on by Christmas, Jesuit coaches Tyler Absalom and Jim Regan and Bethany coach Sean Regan was a success and would be no surprise to see the coaches, players and young kids return next year for another enjoyable experience.