Are you ready for some soccer at NSDC?!
Earlier this year, we introduced our “Camp Within A Camp” program that will be offered to campers entering 1st through 6th grade this summer. Each week, we will feature one of the groups that will be leading our sports and creative arts workshops in a new blog series, giving you a chance to learn more about these fantastic programs!
The first group we are excited to introduce is UK Elite Soccer, which will run a weeklong soccer clinic at NSDC from July 13th – July 17th. UK Elite is a premier youth soccer organization specializing in soccer development through its camps, club programs and managing youth soccer leagues–across 22 states throughout the United States.
We sat down with Tom Williamson, Regional Manager at UK Elite, to learn more about how he became involved with UK Elite, their philosophy on coaching kids and what we have to look forward to this summer!
What is your background? When did you become involved with UK Elite and what inspired you to do so?
Born and bred in South East England, I have been working in the US since graduating from college. After initially working for NOGA Soccer, the largest provider of community soccer camps on Long Island, I joined UK Elite, in February 2014, when NOGA and UK Elite merged.
My inspiration is born from the enjoyment that comes with passing on my love for the world’s game, in the hope that I am helping a new generation, to not just become soccer players, but soccer fans for life.
What are a few different types of programs you offer during the year?
If it relates to soccer, we provide it on a national scale. We see hundreds of thousands of kids per year across the country in a variety of programs ranging from the following:
- Seasonal and individual team training
- Community and residential summer and winter camps
- Domestic and international tours and tournaments
What is your philosophy on how to coach kids?
Soccer is a game and games are supposed to be fun–especially for a child!
Regardless of age or the level of competition, the goal is that all players leave the field smiling. If a child leaves the field dissatisfied and feeling down about his or herself, there’s a good chance they will not come back. And if they do not come back, we feel like we may have lost a fan of soccer for life.
What makes your program different than the numerous other soccer programs out there?
Our curriculum is literally global, with ideas taken from some of the leading soccer nations in player development. Each staff member is provided with training on a weekly basis from some of the best youth soccer educators in the country. By combining these two elements, we truly believe we are the leaders in youth sporting education.
What qualities do you value most in coaches who work for your organization?
We look for coaches who are friendly, approachable, honest, and most importantly have an understanding of all areas of youth development
What can NSDC families expect their kids to get out of a weeklong soccer camp with UK Elite this summer?
It is our aim that everyone walks away from the playing fields with a smile and a love for the beautiful game of soccer, and we will work hard to ensure that we achieve this goal for NSDC families.
It is clear that in addition to being experts in youth soccer development, UK Elite also shares many of the same values we at NSDC subscribe to when it comes to working with and coaching children. It is for these reasons that we are so excited to have UK Elite Soccer with us this summer!
CLICK HERE for more information and to enroll in our Camp Within A Camp program—please note there will be limited enrollment.