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Nashoba Girls Soccer Youth Clinic… August 13, 2014

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-August 13, 2014

By Jess Thomas

The Nashoba High Girls Soccer squad is hosting their third annual three-day youth clinic for girls in grades 1-8 August 18-20 at Nashoba Regional High School.

With longtime coach Pam Vaughn now retired, NGS has a new coach this year, Renee Moulton. This organizing of this year’s clinic was overseen by junior varsity coach, Mary Hilliger.

Hilliger, a former NGS player and current college student, said that the clinic is good for team bonding and learning responsibility. It is also a fundraiser for the team.

“Chemistry plays a huge role in success for any team, so it is beneficial to see everybody working together toward a common goal,” Hilliger said. “On the Nashoba girls soccer team, there is a very large emphasis placed on character, responsibility and being a fantastic role model.”

She noted that the players and coaches will determine where the fundraising money will be used. Hilliger said that part of the money from last year’s clinic was donated to a former NGS player who needed a double lung transplant.

The main purpose of the clinic is to make a connection between the younger players and the older Nashoba girls. Both Hilliger and Moulton agree that connections between younger and older players are important.

Moulton said, “The players who attend the camp are being coached by girls they look up to and can possibly relate to as well. I think the high school girls serve as good role models for the younger girls.”

Moulton also said that she sees the clinic as a great opportunity for the Nashoba players to learn “some life lessons in working with others about attitude, responsibility and coaching.”

“This clinic is great for Nashoba players who are required to plan, organize and run the clinic,” Moulton said. “I will say I was really impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the seniors when we met to start talking about the clinic.”

Once the clinic begins, it is largely run by the students themselves.

“Prior to the camp, the seniors and I met to discuss what they wanted to do, and we talked about what they believed was best for the players who attend the clinic,” Moulton stated. “From that point they began to plan the activities that they will carry out over the three days of the clinic.”

Hilliger is excited to see the players plan and execute this large-scale clinic.

“It shows character and tremendous leadership skills to be able to create the type of environment that the Nashoba players do in these three days,” said Hilliger. “From what I have heard from the parents the last few years, the youth girls love the fact that it is not a coach doing the teaching. It is coming from someone who may have once been in their shoes.”

Some of the activities that the students have planned involve specific rotating stations based on age. The focus of these stations include technical development, such as footwork, passing and receiving; defensive and offensive drills; and shooting and team building exercises, according to Moulton. There will also be small-sided games as well as larger scrimmages.

Hilliger said, “The Nashoba players will be working the check-in table, running all of the stations and organizing the larger games. I think the youth players love this the most. They truly look up to the Nashoba players, which creates an incredibly rich learning environment.”

Hilliger even went as far as to say that the youth players want to be just like the older players.

“It is amazing to see the improvement over the clinic’s three days because the youth players want to learn from the older girls,” Hilliger said. “It is truly astonishing how much a player can improve in all aspects of the game, no matter their age, when they are eager to listen and learn to what the Nashoba players are saying.”

Moulton and Hilliger will supervise and pick up the necessary pieces during the clinic while the students run the show.

Hilliger said, “I make sure there is an EMT on the grounds always, talk with parents and assist with whatever the Nashoba girls need. They give me directions and I am happy to do whatever they need.”

The participants should bring their own water, snack, ball, shin guards, soccer socks, sneakers and cleats.

The event will be held at NRHS on August 18, 19 and 20 from 9 am to 12 pm. The cost is $85 for all three days, $60 for two days and $35 for one day.

To register and for further information, email mhilliger@nrsd.net or call 978-870-0932.

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