45 Kids Learn to Play in Raleigh-Area Youth Clinic Series

Posted: November 19, 2013 02:21 PM

Over the course of five weeks this fall, 45 youth ages 8-12 from North Carolina’s Triangle area found new friends and skills during the Triangle Youth Ultimate League’s (TYUL) Learn to Play Clinic in Carrboro, N.C.

This year, the clinic was immensely successful thanks to great organization and great coaches.  Area player and USA Ultimate Regional Youth Director Heather Ann Brauer and parent coordinator Sara Summers ran the camp and were assisted by over a dozen local high school, college and club players. There was an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from parents of clinic participants. Clinic organizers wanted to share these tips with the larger ultimate community, in hopes that they will inspire success for Learn to Play clinics elsewhere.

The TYUL fall camp took place on Sunday afternoons in September and October, a time which worked really well for the families attending. Clinic participants were divided into two groups, 8-10 and 11-12, though some younger participants with more advanced skills were switched into the older group as the clinic progressed.

After warming up together, clinic activities were split between the two age groups, but much of the feedback was true across both groups. Parents and players agreed that 7 v. 7 scrimmages were too confusing and congested but loved the 5 v. 5 and 3 v. 3. In fact, the 3 v. 3 tournament, which was the culmination of clinic, was everyone’s favorite part.

Coaching received rave reviews from all parents. They really appreciated the coaches’ positive attitudes, the organization of sessions and the attention to safety. An end-of-camp survey asked for participants’ favorite coach – TYUL plans on honoring the winner, Katie Cubrilovic, on their website and social media profiles.

For participants in the younger group, "Galaxy Wars" was a big hit. This game is a capture the flag and hotbox hybrid where teams attempt to knock down water bottles in opposing teams’ boxes. The older group focused more on "Lava Monster," a drill-based game for teaching the standard stack offense. For the older group, parents wanted to see more time for individual coaching and skills-targeted games for participants.  All of this awesome feedback from participants and parents will be incorporated into the TYUL Spring 2014 Learn to Play clinics already in the works for Carrboro, Durham and Raleigh.

Regardless of age, parents were eager for the continuation of the clinics and playing opportunities for their children.  Currently, there are little to no team opportunities for elementary school-age players in the Triangle, and parents are incredibly supportive and appreciative of the opportunity TYUL clinics afford their children to play ultimate.


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