I am fortunate to work with some amazing people and companies in my job at CASL. Most of my day-to-day responsibilities revolve around finding ways to connect with like minded individuals who believe in what we do and share a vision for how we can all help make our community stronger.
For me, the belief in CASL and the outcomes it can have on young people isn't far-fetched. I am a product of CASL (I played Recreation, Challenge, and Classic at CASL from age 7-18 - proud '02 CASL Alum). I've seen the lasting impact that team sports and quality coaches can have (we all have those coaches who we loved to play for - win or lose). I still remember my first coach - Coach Forcum with the Falcons (pictured below) - who introduced me to the game and instilled a love right away. My Challenge Coach, Coach Currrier, who took a chance on a 10 year old girl and put her on a boys' Challenge team (back when this was allowed). The list goes on and on, I can talk about positive memories that all of my soccer coaches left on me. We rely so much on our our coaches to provide this positive youth sport experience for our players.
|Me with my first CASL team, the Falcons (circa 1992)|
Coaching EducationEver since Gary Buete came to CASL over a year ago, one of his main priorities has been coaching education across all levels. In the past year, I can honestly say we've made a lot of progress on providing coaches the resources and opportunities to be successful (a few highlights below).
- Recreation Coaching License: Recreation Director Brett Malone offered the first CASL coaching certification course for our recreation coaches this fall. He had an amazing turnout of coaches who are invested in their role as "Coach".
- Recreation Practice Plans: Brett Malone and David Rodriguez (Assistant Recreation Director) worked all summer to put together a Recreation curriculum so that our volunteer coaches are equipped with practice plans, tips, and player development focus areas. They a
- Challenge JDP: This past year, Damon Nahas, CASL's Technical Director, worked with Challenge Director Bryan Farnsworth to offer the first Challenge JDP (Junior Development Program) sessions. This coaching education initiative provides our challenge coaches the opportunity to learn about CASL's coaching philosophy. Coaches leave with tools needed to evaluate players, execute meaningful training sessions, and collaborate with each other.
- Player Development Manual: Sean Nahas, CASL's Director of Player Development/ECNL Director, was tasked to create a player development manual to be used across CAYA, Classic, and ECNL/Academy. This is as much a benefit to the players as it is to the coaches, who are now all on the same page. For example, all U8-12 coaches now know exactly what is expected of them and their players. The manual provides tips to coaches on how to ensure they are providing the best player development environment for their players.
If it weren't for the generous support of our corporate community, many of these initiatives would not be possible. For that reason, I want to share some insights into a few of our sponsors whose support allows for your (you and your family's) experience at CASL to be improved. I'll be sharing a lot more as the season goes on!
- Sheetz: Sheetz was a sponsor of our labor day tournament this year. As part of their sponsorship, they donated ALL of our referee lunches on both days of play. Money we would have spent can now be saved for our programs!
- Dick's Sporting Goods: Dick's Sporting Goods is always willing to help. Whether that was offering discounts to our families all summer long at sizing events, providing every Recreation coach with $20 Bonus Bucks to help get them ready for the season, or giving our Friendship Cup players a drawstring bag, Dick's Sporting Goods is a faithful friend of CASL. Their sponsor support also allows us to recognize sportsmanship each season!
- Sky Zone Raleigh: I've gotten to know Julie and Bob Russell at Sky Zone Raleigh over the past year. Their generosity astounds me, and they are all about promoting healthy, fun, and active living. You've probably seen the Sky Zone fitness center at WRAL Soccer Park, but I would encourage you to check out their trampoline park - all CASL members who wear a CASL shirt can jump for just $10! They are also having a birthday special - book before October 31 and all attendees receive a free pass - check out this cool video about birthdays at Sky Zone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJEKx5fTpXQ