By David F. Rooney
Local soccer-loving kids and their parents in the Revelstoke Youth Soccer Association have an avid supporter and new coach in Kendra Von Bremen.
It’s a game she knows well and she is very enthusiastic about soccer’s rising appeal among local children. She began playing soccer when she was seven on a boys’ team before switching to a girls’ team the following year. She became a coach at age 15 and played in Victoria’s Premier League until she was in her 20s.
How popular is “the beautiful game?” Check these numbers:
- U4/5 – 12 teams (6-7 kids) – total 69
- U6 – 8 teams (6 -7kids) – total 49
- U8 boys – 6 teams (8-9 kids) – total 52
- U8 girls – 4 teams (7-8 kids) – total 31
- U10 boys – 4 teams (8-9 kids) – total 32
- U 10 girls – 4 teams (8 kids) – total 26
- U13 boys – 4 teams (8 players) – total 32
- U13 girls – 4 teams (7-8 players) – total 29
That’s 320 kids. Pretty amazing, eh?
“It’s a lot of little people,” said Kendra, herself a mom with two young ones at home.
“We are moving to a one practice and one game per week system. Players will have more time with a ball to develop skills and then transfer those skills into the game. (Except the U4 and U-5 kids. They won’t be playing real games — just become acustomed to kicking and chasing the ball.)”
Kendra plans to use the nation-wide Long-Term Development Model for teaching and evaluating children. This national model makes it possible to gauge boys’ and girls’ skills in a particular sport over the years. This may be especially useful when children are very young.
“There’s a window at which kids learn the skills necessary to compete in any sport,” she said. “Yes, you can pick them up later on, but they’ll almost always be behind the curve.”
Friendly, up-beat and naturally enthusiastic Kendra’s bound to make a favourable impression on the hundreds of kids in the RYSA.
She’ll also teach parents how to coach.
“Parents being a different dynamic to coaching so I envision having to level the playing field for them,” Kendra said in an interview last week. “Some of them will have some experience and may great coaches others will have a really limited soccer background.”
She will, as she says, “level the playing field for them” by holding a number of coaching clinics for volunteer coaches before the children’s practices begin.