CRESTVIEW — In the last three years, Scottie Milton has proven himself a more than capable soccer coach as he has led the Crestview High School boys soccer team.
However, even a veteran coach such as Milton can be outnumbered.
Milton took on a new coaching challenge last week as instructor for the Crestview Parks and Recreation Department soccer camp at Twin Hills Park. About 25-30 players between ages 4 and 14 attended the camp.
“It has gone really well,” he said. “The first day was kind of rough because I wasn’t expecting the numbers. I heard it was only going to be 13 kids here and then I walked up (and there were twice that number). It was only me here so it was kind of crazy on Monday.”
Milton called in some of his players as reinforcements for the remainder of the week and things seemed to go off without a hitch.
The campers were divided into age groups so they could play against others with similar size and skill sets.
“I think they want to have success,” he said. “If they were playing with the older kids, they would never see the ball. It’s all about them touching the ball.
“If they continue developing in the game, hopefully I’ll see them in high school.”
Milton coached campers on the basic skills of dribbling, passing and ball control.
“It’s all about controlling the ball,” he said. “The dribbling is important so they can feel comfortable. And we tried to teach them some one-on-one moves so they can get around the opponent.”
Milton said it was more important for players to learn basic ball skills at the camp than for him to stress the team concepts of passing and sharing the ball.
“It’s OK for the little ones to take the ball the length of the field because that shows they have confidence,” he said. “You can teach them later how to share the ball.”
Miltonsaid there is one big difference between the Twin Hills camp and a camp he might lead with his Crestview High team or a team of older players.
“This one I try to have fun for the kids as they get better,” he said. “I try to sell the sport to them.
“I don’t want to be the mean guy and have them thinking, ‘That guy’s mean. I don’t want to play soccer any more.’ So I try to make it fun.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.