Morgan DeGlopper– Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- At the end of 2017, some LRHS students and local youth soccer players had the opportunity to work with a world-class athlete.
From Dec. 26-29, professional soccer player Neill Collins coached young athletes in his NC3 Youth Soccer Camp. Children from the ages 6-11 attended the camp in two different sessions that spanned from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
LRHS junior Garret Zimmerman was a volunteer coach at the camp. Zimmerman enjoyed helping coach the kids and thought it was a way to make getting volunteer hours fun.
“It was a lot of fun, they were all really nice. It’s a really good way to get my hours as well because I like soccer,” stated Zimmerman.
Zimmerman preferred to work with the older group, which included kids from the ages 9-11. He noticed that they were a “little more competitive” and a “little less emotional”.
Zimmerman acknowledged that Collins worked very well with the kids. He described Collins as being great at engaging the children and good at refocusing the children when they got emotional or upset.
Collins currently plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, but during his nearly 17-year career, he has been a part of English clubs such as Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United, and Sheffield United.
Collins enjoys coaching young children and helping shape their views of the game.
“I think it’s great to be part of kids’ childhood memories. It is great to think that these kids in years to come will look back and remember NC3 Soccer. I love to see kids improve and to help kids become better soccer players,” Collins stated.
A major difference Collins noticed by the end of the camp was the closeness of the athletes.
“Kids that were shy at the start of the week are all of a sudden laughing and joking with their new friends. It’s great to see kids making friends and having a good time,” he said.
Collins may have more camps in the near future. These will be announced on his Facebook page, NC3 Soccer LLC.