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Middle School Soccer Development Program Sees Success

Academics
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During the Winter Term, nearly 25 of our Gryphons participated twice a week in the new Winter Soccer Development Program, open to all students from Grade 6 to Grade 8. 

“I think it’s important for us to offer opportunities for kids in different areas,” said Head of School Mr. Chad Holtum. “This was an area the students really wanted, and our parents were willing to support it with their time. It adds another wonderful GNS offering where kids are outside and engaged in our co-curricular programs.”

The soccer development program is led by Senior Soccer Coach Mr. Anton Bucher, who is supported by volunteer student coaches from the Senior School including Theo, Jacob, Kevin, Fiona and Jessica. The players also receive training and coaching from parent volunteer Dr. Farzad Hassani. 

This new program is an example of the power of volunteerism, as, without it, the program would not have happened. 

“Volunteering is important because that’s how the community is built,” said Dr. Hassani. “Whatever you put in is what you’ll get back one way or another. It’s reciprocal and creates a community. I’m just trying to do my part.” 

The program is designed to help students acquire a base-level knowledge of soccer, but also to provide development opportunities for those with experience, too. 

“We really wanted to help the soccer program be strong in the school and have a grassroots approach,” said Dr. Hassani. “We wanted to get the students that are interested to prepare and train them so they will perform well as they age up. It’s been going well so far. We have an amazing coach, and there is a lot of knowledge here.” 

Every two weeks the coaching focused on specific new skills to enable the students to better master them. 

  • Weeks one to two: Ball mastery and manipulation. 
  • Weeks three to four: Passing and receiving. 
  • Weeks five to six: Various moves. 
  • Weeks seven to eight: Group attacks. 
“This program is really good because it helps us develop youth soccer players. It’s good for them to do something different,” said Mr. Bucher. “It’s nice for the kids to get out after school and get exercise and have some fun. I try to have a game-based approach to learning here and I think the kids really enjoy it. I hope this continues to develop players and their love for the game—hopefully, we can develop young soccer players that enjoy playing the game and can contribute to a successful senior team in a couple of years.”