KICKIN’ IT CAMP STYLE

Pop-out soccer goals on either end of the miniature field, with orange and green cones marking the boundaries on either side and the endlines.

Four 6- and 7-year-olds girls wearing neon pink T-shirts go back and forth, trying to put the ball in the back of the net.

The girls, no taller than 4-feet tall, work on their dribbling skills and teamwork at Freeman Field.

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This past week, 22 high school girls soccer players and Owls varsity coach Greg Musser directed a camp for young soccer players.

The campers were divided into two groups, kindergarten through third and fourth to eighth grades, for the five-day camp.

For the younger group, it’s all about learning a little about soccer and working on dribbling.

Musser said the biggest thing the girls would leave with is learning that soccer is fun.

“Our kindergarten through third grade, we typically want to work on their dribbling skills,” Musser said. “Ball skills, awareness of their bodies, turning and cutting with the ball at their feet. There’s not much passing or shooting at that age level.”

“With the younger girls we try to get everything within a kind of game form. They will play games like ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’ where they run and try to get as many balls as they can back to their square and games like that. They’re kind of working on dribbling without even knowing it.”

With the older group, a bunch who have played for a few years, Musser focused on improving a variety of skills.

“With the fourth through eighth we’ve done a day of dribbling, passing/receiving, shooting and defensive tackling,” Musser said.

“We try to set up drills with the girls like we do at the high school. We pair them up a little bit and have the girls kind of watch the campers. For the most part, they’re the same as high school drills just paired down a little.”

Musser said that the camp provided a good opportunity for his high school girls to give back and help build interest of the sport in Seymour, and it gives the younger girls good role models.

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.