Coach Thomas and Coach Matthias's Soccer Camp Blog
Thomas Scherf & Matthias Eiles traveled to Bemidji, Minnesota, and started a soccer camp for boys and girls at Concordia Language Villages on August 5.
Tuesday, August 16
Enlarge image (© Germany.info) Today we started with a new football group called “Abenteuer Fußball”. On Monday the participants could choose between several activities and 33 percent decided to play football with us! From now on Matthias and I have four training sessions daily. So even for us it’s a good training and we keep in shape. As always, the guys had a whole lot of fun and are looking forward to Friday, when they will be able to earn the DFB McDonald’s soccer badge. The participants are younger than the kids we had last week but they are very skillful. As last week the girls are very talented and good football players. Today we did a whole bunch of different football drills and we constantly tried to introduce German terms. Besides the “Abenteuer Fußball” program we are organizing the training for a new “Fußball AG” and with both groups we do the DFB & Mc Donald´s football badge. Enlarge image (© Germany.info) The kids had to do several exercises like “Dribbling Artist” or “Heading King”. In total there are five sections they have to complete. Matthias and I called out the exercises almost in German and we had no problems communicating and the exercises went smoothly. After the training, we drove with Karl and his wife Heidi to an Italian restaurant for dinner and were hoping to get real Italian espresso. ...but they had no coffee machine at all. Such a pitty. It looks like we have to wait until we are back in Germany.
Friday, August 12
Enlarge image (© Germany.info) On Friday we had a packed day. In the morning the kids had the opportunity to earn the DFB & McDonald’s badge. Most of the participants achieved at least a bronze medal, which made us very proud. At 2 p.m. villagers from different Concordia camps meet at the Waldsee Campus to celebrate the "International Day 2011." More than 2000 villagers, staff, parents and guests joint this extraordinary event. It was a unique opportunity for the kids to get together and learn about the language and cultural programs. The first highlight on the agenda was the Concordia Language Villages Football World Cup. Matthias and I supported the organizing team and helped them to ensure that the tournament goes smoothly. Furthermore we did the coaching for our German team and after a dramatic semi-final victory against the French team we lost the final against Sweden. But becoming second in a world cup is just great anyway. After the victory the day before and the silver medal at the world cup there is a serious need of extending the contract long term to the two German coaches Thomas and Matthias. “Karl, you know what you got to do now!” In the evening, there was a banquet for all the camp participants, where we ceremoniously presented the DFB McDonald’s badge awards to our football participants. Altogether it was a fantastic day and all participants had a lot of fun and left the venue with lots of pride and happiness.
Wednesday, August 10/Thursday, August 11
Enlarge image (© Germany.info) In the morning Matthias and I discussed some details for the international day that take place on Friday. At 11.15 a.m. we started with the training and prepared the kids for the test tomorrow. Most of them did very well and are good enough so that they will earn the DFB McDonald’s soccer badge. A traditional camp highlight is a game between the children and the camp counselors. This took place at the afternoon. It was a great game, with music and typical German stadium atmosphere accompanying the soccer game. We did the coaching for the kids and guess what, the kids won that game. The first time that the kids won against the counselors after a few years. Some people mentioned this historic success must be influenced by our training sessions. After the final whistle the kids were totally excited. It was great fun. In the evening, there was a banquet for all the camp participants and a talent competition with rising stars on stage such as Jens and Ernst who performed the full version of “Die Gedanken sind frei”.
Enlarge image (© Germany.info) Today the training session was meant to be skipped, because the “Fußball AG” and other kids where on a canoe trip for two days. So for our first training session we then drove to the other side of the lake and surprised the kids from our “Fußball AG” Even if there was no football pitch we had great fun andstarted our training next to the lakeside. After one-hour practice it was lunchtime and the kids ate burritos with black beans cooked on an open fire. After the meal we continued withthe training. At 3 p.m we drove back to the camp and Matthias and I went canoeing for a while. At 5:45 p.m we had our thirdtraining session for the day and played football with the kids. Another highlight of the day was the dinner. Dan and his wife Heidi, Michael, Björn and Bernd invited us to “The Ruttgers”restaurant with a magnificent view, oak trees on the beach and delicious food. That was awesome.
Tuesday, August 9
Enlarge image Playing soccer in that land of 10,000 lakes. (© Germany.info) In the first session we concentrated on passing and shooting and explained the kids something about tactic and outlined the different positions in a soccer team. In the morning the weather was a bit windy but during the day the sun came out and we had a wonderful day. After lunchtime we focused on shooting practice. As always, the guys had a lot of fun and are looking forward to their final day, when they will be able to earn the DFB McDonald’s soccer badge. In the evening, Matthias and I did our swim test and passed it. YES, we made it! From now on we have the official permission to go canoeing without surveillance and explore the Mississippi.
Monday, August 8
Today we had three training sessions with the boys and girls. The first training session was our “ Trainings AG” and we continued working with the 12 children from the day before. We did three stations of the DFB & McDonald’s badge program with the children. The kids had a lot of fun and are very motivated to take part of our training. We also learned different fan songs and practiced simple language exercises. After lunchtime we had our second session with 16 boys and girls and we continued with different sections from the first session. Furthermore we did some additional exercise to improve their technique skills. At the evening (5:45 p.m.) we just played soccer with the kids. During each training session we practiced simple language exercise and the kids had to repeat the German phrases.
Sunday, August 7
Enlarge image Soccer Camp (© Germany.info) The next day we had a training session with 16 kids that last 2,5 hours. The 16 boys and girls were between 13 and 17 years old. At the beginning, we introduced ourselves and explained them what we are going to do in the next days. Our training session started with a warm up practice called “Eckchen” (see below). Afterwards we practiced many different passes and ended the session with a match. Everyone was highly motivated and gave his best. Afterwards we could spend the afternoon with Axel and his family at their house next to the lake and had a great time. Fortunately the weather was pretty hot and we went swimming and canoeing in the lake. This was a great start so far for us. In the evening, Matthias started to plan the next week, containing special tasks like “Fangesang”, creation of banners, VIP ticketing including hospitaliy for special guests and motivational teamsongs for the two important football days next week (on Thursday the camp internal match and on Friday the international day tournament).
Friday, August 5 /Saturday, August 6
Enlarge image Soccer Camp (© Germany.info) On Friday, August 5, Matthias and I started our trip to the United States, to Bemidji, Minnesota. After a long trip from Frankfurt we arrived at midnight at the airport of Bemidji where Dan Hamilton and Axel gave us a warm welcome and a lift to the camp. The next morning (11:15 am) we started our first program with the “Fussball AG”. We introduced ourselves and explained the reasons for our stay. At the beginning we started to play “Eckchen” and explained them the rules in German. Furthermore, we continued explaining easy terms like “Annahme,” “passen,” “dribbeln,” “stoppen,” and “einfach und sicher.” During the workout, the group had to repeat this terms again and again. After lunch we had our second group at 3:15 pm and just played football with the kids to get an impression of their football skills. At the evening Dan showed us the campus and we went to town for dinner at “downtown” Bemidji where we had to cross the Mississippi.
Enlarge image (© Germany.info) This event was part of the "do Deutsch" series of events on German culture and language organized by the German missions and the Goethe-Institut locations in the US.