Lamar University Female Soccer Coach gives advice for players and parent on travel soccer for girls.
Tags:Girls Travel Soccer Tips,ClubHouseGAS.com,Female Soccer,Female Soccer Coaching tips,atlanta,Lamar University,ncaa,soccer,Top Hat
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Casey Bass: Today, we are at the TopHat Soccer Club here in Buckhead. And, we are going to be joined by one of the coaches Dewi Hardman. And, he’s going to talk to us about nine and ten year old girl’s travel soccer. This will be pretty interesting, so stay tuned to ClubHouse Gas.
Today, we are lucky enough to be joined by one of the premier soccer instructors on the East coast, Dewi Hardman. Thank you so much for joining us, buddy.
Dewi Hardman: It’s a pleasure.
Casey Bass: We’re talking about travel soccer, in particular, travel soccer for the ladies. Now, we are going to see a group of ten-year olds here later.
Dewi Hardman: Yep.
Casey Bass: Is ten-year old too young for girls to be playing travel soccer?
Dewi Hardman: No, but it the age that they start here in the State of Georgia and throughout the country. We feel it’s about the right age because they are developed both emotionally, socially; that they can get involved in a large group of sports, and travel with a group or team, out of town, out of State. So, it’s about the right age to start.
Casey Bass: Now, if I got an eight-tear old or a nine-year old young lady. She’s my daughter; she’s my niece, whatever. She shows interest in playing travel soccer. What are the skills we should work on with her to get her ready to be able to at the age of ten to be on travel soccer team?
Dewi Hardman: At the younger ages, we really stress technical development not at comfort level with the ball, can they dribble the ball, can they catch the ball, can they control the ball. So, how agile and balanced and coordinated are they with the ball. Those are the real important technical skills for them to work on at the younger ages. So that when they come to a travel program like this one, the ball is a friend to them. They can manipulate the ball, they can beat defenders, they can shoot the ball, they can pass the ball. So, those are the important skills they need to learn.
Casey Bass: So, basic ball handling steps. And you can do that in your living room, you can do that
Dewi Hardman: We don’t advice parents to allow their kids to play in the living-room. But yeah, in the backyard, out with the father, mother, yes, all the time…
Casey Bass: Looking at some of the houses around here though, you might get away with it.
Dewi Hardman: You can have a good game in the living room somewhere around here.
Casey Bass: Tell me about this facility. I mean, you told me, this is a ladies only facility. This place is, first-off, is immense; second-off, it’s beautiful. Is it just for girl’s soccer?
Dewi Hardman: Yes, Tophat is a Girls only club. And, these three full size fields, we train, we play here. And as I said, girls only from the ages of four, where we start with our Little Hatter program, all the way through to 18 and 19 where hopefully, we’ll send them off to college to play in. Girl’s only, well manicured girls, it’s a great venue for them to play in.
Casey Bass: I did not play soccer, although if I had grown up girl, she might have thought of playing soccer, not playing football, but American football. And, I would have loved to play on a field with grass this beautiful. But what kind of time are we talking about? One should target to be ten-year old and we are going into travel soccer. What’s the time commitment?
Dewi Hardman: We get them training twice a week and it is for an hour and a half. And then, they have games on the weekend. And, they usually play one or two games on a Saturday or Sunday. There may be some travel involved to other venues throughout the State of Georgia. And, there may be some travel to some venues outside of the Sate of Georgia, places in Alabama, Florida, or maybe, South Carolina. So, there is a fair commitment, and we’d expect them to come twice a week. And then, we’d expect them to improve on their own home as well, instead of just coming here twice a week to us to improve. We’d expect them to get back to their home, so homework is sustenance to develop their own technical abilities at home.
Casey Bass: How difficult does it get time-wise as they get in a high school, -- they are in high school, and they are high school girls. High school girls have a lot going on. And, they are playing high school soccer as well as do they do this at the same time?
Dewi Hardman: Yes, well, the seasons do not coincide. We play during the fall, the high school seasons are in the spring. There are at the elite level, certain tournaments. We try and take our girls to, to showcase them in front of college coaches. And, that’s when the travel commitment gets very extensive. So, it’s traveling to places in Florida, in California, in Texas, and Vegas. So all of these different tournaments to get them in front of the best college coaches we can out them in front of to give them the best opportunity to play in college. So, it does become extensive, the seasons still collide, but it’s a year round commitment.
Casey Bass: How much luck have you had when you take to showcase your ladies for these college coaches?
Dewi Hardman: We’ve been very, very successful here at Tophat. We put every one of our girls last year into different colleges. There are a great number of them playing at places like South Carolina, University of Georgia, Alabama, another one at Duke, Vanderbilt. So, we’ve had great success doing that. We have the freshman of the year at Georgia a year ago, coming from this Club. So, we’ve had a lot of success; we’re very proud of that.
Casey Bass: Wow, so, Girls Soccer is not second thought here. It is the only primary thought about Tophat
Dewi Hardman: We demand a lot, and they give a lot, and they become very successful.
Casey Bass: We appreciate it. Thank you so much for joining us. That should do it for us today. If you want to find out more, go to the message boards, type us the question, we got all the answers, and I don’t we can get hold of our buddy here. We’ll see you right back here tomorrow, on Clubhouse Gas.