With World Cup fever in full effect, Harker’s summer soccer camp provided players of many skill levels with the opportunity to learn about one of the world’s most popular sports in a fun and supportive environment. The camp was directed by Harker soccer coach Shaun Tsakiris, who worked with coaches from San Jose’s De Anza Force soccer club to offer campers an enjoyable and comprehensive learning experience.
“The themes are the same. We always want to make sure we make it entertaining and challenging for kids,” said Tsakiris, who competed in four NCAA tournaments and received the MVP award from UCLA in 2000.
Campers started each day with a half hour of agility, strength and balance training. Instructors made an effort to incorporate a soccer ball into exercises as much as possible. Students then broke off into groups, with one going to the middle school campus for futsal (indoor soccer) while others worked on soccer skills at Davis Field, rotating through stations for shooting, passing and receiving and dribbling. Students also practiced one-on-one situations and participated in game play.
Fun activities such as soccer tennis – in which two players square off on either side of a net – and group games at the end of the camp day kept the camp fresh.
Joshua Pynadath, who in the fall will be a seventh grader at the American School of Madrid in Spain, has participated with De Anza Force before and said the camp was a good way to brush up on his skills and see his friends and coaches. “The competition I think is good and the drills we do are really fun,” he said. “The last day is probably the best because we get to play everyone in a big sort of tournament.”
“It’s really fun,” said Patrick Geleziunas, who will soon start grade 8 at Ralston Middle School. “I’m learning new stuff and [meeting] new players, and it’s fun playing with them.”