March 23, 2018

Last week of Indoor!


As we enter into our last week of this winter indoor session, I have a few observations and suggestions moving forward. First, it has been an absolute pleasure teaching your children. This is truly a fantastic group of players. The amount of progress that was made by each child was both amazing and inspiring at the same time. It is hard to measure the true amount of progress your child has made when you compare them to the rest of the group. However, get ready to see the dramatic difference come this spring when they go back to playing with their outdoor teams. At this age, winning is not as important as skills development. Please encourage your child to attempt the different moves they learned during each game. You will begin to see them standout from the rest of the team. Additionally, be sure to encourage them to keep their spirits up because most coaches will not appreciate the ball skills that they have learned. As your child continues to develop confidence with the ball they will naturally want to hold on to it longer. When the coach and parents begin to yell “kick the ball” understand that your child is doing the right thing by holding it and trying new things. Also, understand that your child will lose the ball often at first when attempting these new moves.  However, encourage them to continue to develop their confidence with the ball because they will be the star players in a few short years. 

           My suggestion is that you supplement your child’s training with one of my skills training classes this spring at either Marti Park or in Shenango. Repetition is the key to building a solid foundation. I also suggest that your son/daughter continue to work on their touches on the ball at home. Another thing you will see is the high level of conditioning your child has developed over the winter. To do the number of touches that they perform in one hour takes a lot of endurance. If you are not able to do the spring training I will be holding at least one week long summer camp. The camp will either take place at Marti Park or the Y-Zone. Justin has offered me the use of the Y-zone fields and the indoor complex if it rains if I offer a 10% discount to YMCA members. Therefore, the camp will most likely be at the Y-Zone. That date for the camp is yet to be determined. You will receive an email and first spot at registration.

           In conclusion, I want to thank all the parents again for taking the chance on my academy this winter. I was not certain the numbers I would get being the first time. Completely maxing out the number of spaces was amazing, and I am very grateful. Teaching is my passion and seeing young kids learn and develop through hard work and dedication is very rewarding to me. Combined we had 40 participants on the main field every Tuesday. Next winter I am shooting to do two hours on Tuesday and two hours on Thursdays running two groups of 40. One group will be for all the kids that have trained with me this winter and the other group will be for new players just starting with the academy. Finally, I ask that you help promote the academy when your child does well in a game. The more kids we can get involved in the academy the higher the level of soccer you will see in the area. Also, keep me updated if your child has a great game this spring and email me your game schedules. If I get a chance I may show up at a game to watch the kids perform. If you have any questions concerning the academy this spring, please call or email me anytime. Registration for all the classes can be found on the outlaw’s website at

Dr. Michael Baptiste

Academy Director