LYNNFIELD — This week is all about the basics for Lynnfield girls soccer coach Mark Vermont. The Pioneers get a chance to hit the field before preseason and teach middle school athletes some of the basics at their annual Lynnfield Youth Soccer Camp.
“It’s just a good opportunity to get back on the field and to get the kids some work,” Vermont said. “It gets you excited for the season. Throughout the week we are doing a lot of footwork and technical training. Those are some of the things we focus on.”
The annual clinic runs this week at Lynnfield High School starting Monday and wrapping up Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m each morning. Vermont puts a focus on running through basic drills with the athletes who range from fifth to ninth grade.
“Our focus is on the technique more than anything at every age,” Vermont said. “We’ll split them apart a little bit and work on some other stuff but they all need to work on the basics. It’s about getting everyone touches with the ball and just trying to improve however they can this week.”
Along with his coaching staff, Vermont also gets help from some of his high school players running the clinic.
“I run it with our JV coach Darren Damiani,” Vermont said. “We also have some high school players helping out too whenever they can come and help out, the numbers vary day to day. The younger girls love seeing the older players there too. For the young girls, working with the high school players is like working with the pros.”
This week also gives the Pioneers a chance to give back to the community and the Lynnfield Youth Soccer program, where many of them learned to love the game.
“It’s good for the high school kids to get back into the swing of things during the summer,” Vermont said. “It’s also a good way for them to give back into the youth program that they came up through when they were younger.”
More than a few athletes return to participate in the camp each summer, which creates a familiarity between them at every level.
“All my players enjoy it,” Vermont said. “They enjoy working with the younger kids and they get familiar with each other. A lot of the youth players have been going to this camp for a couple years in a row. It’s great to see some of the growth year to year.”
Vermont, a middle school teacher, gets a chance to see some of his students on the field for the first time.
“I recognize some faces from the middle school so it’s cool,” Vermont said. “You see them in a different setting on the field. It’s a nice way to wrap up the summer and get everyone some work.”
While there may be a focus on the basics during the clinic, more than a few drills are run the same way at the high school level.
“I think this week helps build a little bit of familiarity with the next level,” Vermont said. “There’s a lot of things we do here that we do at the high school level. If kids from the clinic see us down there during the season, they can say they worked on some of the same drill during the summer. It’s a good experience for everyone.”