OTHER PROGRAMS THE CLUB OFFERS
We are much more than the team your child plays on. We are a Club in every sense of the word. From our Academy described in Chapter Nineteen to the Kansas City Brass, we offer a program that spans years designed to develop players to play at a high level and learn a game they play for life.
Players and parents should fully utilize all we offer, many of which are offered free or at very reduced rates.
Summer Conditioning Sessions
Beginning in 2000, we began offering twice-weekly summer conditioning sessions, during the morning starting at 7:45 a.m. and ending around 8:45 a.m. at Blue Valley North High School, 123rd and Lamar.
The training sessions focus on maintaining conditioning through intense skills training with the soccer ball, mild plyometrics, and sprint training.
The program is run by our coaching staff and is free to our Club members. We want them to participate in this program for we know if they stay in soccer shape during the summer, they will perform better come fall and are far less likely to be injured.
Preseason Boot Camp
We ran our first boot camp in 2004, with four teams. In 2006, we had every team and almost 200 participants. In 2011, we had all but the high school teams and over 450 participants.
The program runs for four days in the evenings during the last week of July or the first week in August, before we start regular practices. Teams work together and move from station-to-station refreshing skills. At least once a night players will work with almost every coach on staff as new skills are taught and old skills are refreshed.
The cost is $15 per person, which covers a t-shirt and the rental of the practice facility.
Extra Skills Sessions
Many of our coaches are available for extra skills training in small groups. The cost varies with the coach, but is generally $5 to $10 a session. Many teams arrange such an extra skills training session on a weekly basis throughout the year.
These sessions are entirely optional. We will arrange such sessions to fit your schedule.
Dr. Randy Goldstein has developed the Well Body Program. Many youth clubs have started to form relationships with sports trainers who provide specialized knowledge and training in conditioning, speed training, injury prevention and other areas. We have done this with a number of trainers and organizations that provide speed training and conditioning, but we have gone beyond that and formed a similar relation with a Board Certified Pediatrician with an interest in Sports Medicine. Here is what Dr. Goldstein does for our players:
First, he is familiar with soccer, the injuries to be expected, and is attuned to sports medicine. Many doctors are not. They were trained to believe that any pain is bad and actively discourage players from activity as long as there is any pain. This philosophy can lead to greatly lengthened recovery periods and actually increase the risk of a secondary injury. Pain should be heeded, but to avoid it means often long periods of immobilization which in turn leads to atrophy. The loss of muscle weakens ankles and knees and can lead to a secondary injury when the player returns.
Second, the relationship with Doctor Goldstein includes him having every coach's email and telephone number, the rehab/physical trainers the club is associated with, AND a HIPA release allowing the doctor to share information about the player/patient with the coaches and trainers. We also provide the doctor with each team's and player's schedule - league games, friendlies, tournaments, practices, etc., on a weekly basis AND a listing of each player's outside physical activities - so the doctor knows what issues the player will be facing as part of the recovery.
When a player is injured, this communication can be vital. The coach often will have seen the injury and will be able to provide better information than the parent or player. During treatment, the doctor will communicate directly with the coach and trainer avoiding the occasional miscommunication that will come from a parent or player who may misunderstand the instructions or ignores the doctor's advice. It also allows the doctor to give better instruction on what a player can and cannot do on returning to light practices allowing a faster reintegration of the player into the game.
Third, the doctor is often available for club seminars on issues that directly impact the players. We have arranged for two such seminars within our club: one on the prevention of ACL injuries and another on how to stretch with particular attention paid to issues individual players had with stretching and preparing their bodies prior to a game.
The benefits of this relationship were brought home to me last year when we had three players injured in one game. (It was a physical game, but none of the challenges were dirty, just VERY unlucky.) One girl had a broken leg, one a deep quad bruise, and another strained knee ligaments. Dr. Goldstein saw all three the next Monday.
While the doctor was seeing each girl he called the coach to learn more details of the accident. He contacted the trainer and arranged in each case a rehab program that accelerated the player's return. He arranged for approval of the trainer's work with the insurance company as physical rehab. He called the coach back AND emailed us a report. He followed up on a regular basis throughout their treatment.
The following is an example of the email report I received on two of these girls (with names removed):
AB has a fracture in her fibula at the ankle and will need to be in a boot for several weeks. I have reviewed the xray with an orthopedic office at Children's Mercy Hospital (to give her the most specialists involved as well as the most options.) She will not be able to compete in Las Vegas this weekend.
We want our players to be able to see high level play. By seeing they learn the game even better. Consequently, every Kansas City United Player who comes to any Brass league game will be admitted FREE. (Sorry, we cannot offer this for Open Cup games.)
The Kansas City Brass plays in the Premier Development League, the highest amateur soccer league (PDL) in the Nation. Over three-quarters of the last year’s draft choices for the MLS and USL Division 1 (highest level of minor league professional soccer) and MISL (professional indoor soccer) played in this league. For the past four years, the Brass has had at least three of its players drafted including Will John and Ryan Raybould, both of whom played for the Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City).
Our Club has a strong relationship with the Brass. In 1997, Emilio John and Alan Blinzler started the Brass. Since then a number of our players have seen action for the team, including some who are now coaches in our club. Jim Schwab (who was also a coach of the Brass), Kem Thomas, Adam Blinzler, and Will John, all current coaches in our club, all played for the Brass. Jefferson and Lincoln Roblee, who serve as skills coaches for teams in our club, have coached the Brass.
The Brass is unique among PDL teams. We started the team and have kept it solely to allow young men from Kansas City the opportunity to polish their skills so they can make the leap to professional soccer. The current Brass roster features players who played for Kansas City United and in the past 14 years close to 40 of our Alumni have worn a Brass uniform.
The Kansas City Brass plays their games at the Overland Park Soccer Complex. For more information about the Brass, directions to their games and a current schedule, visit their web site or the web site of the Premier Development League. At the Brass web page you will find articles about youth soccer, college soccer, and news about the Kansas City Soccer scene. At the PDL site are current articles about events around the League and links to minor league professional soccer.
European Team Trips
In earlier Chapters it was noted that soccer is a sport that is unique. It is the sport the world plays. You can go anywhere on this globe and you will find people who play soccer. Soccer is a great “ice breaker” allowing players to meet people, make new friends, bride cultural divides and surmount any language barrier. When you play soccer, you literally are speaking a language everybody understands.
We will arrange for our players and teams when they are in the mid teens to travel to Europe and play in major tournaments, and when possible arrange friendlies with major European clubs. Such trips need to be planned years in advance, so not only the financial burden can be met, but also so events can be scheduled. Our coaching staff has contacts with clubs in Europe and Central America we can utilize. Many of us have traveled extensively and had teams participate in foreign competition. If you are interested in such a trip, contact your coach or the Club’s Executive Director.
A sample itinerary would include tournaments like:
And of course, there will be side trips for sight seeing.
This is your Club. Treat us as family. Take advantage of what we offer, but respect our other members, the soccer community, and when possible, give back something of yourself.