Soccer Speaks at MSHSSCA Coaches Clinic The Minnesota soccer staff and players demonstrated strategy and drills at the Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association coaches clinic.
Hopkins, Minn. - The University of Minnesota soccer team attended the Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association (MSHSSCA) clinic this morning (Aug. 14), taking a break from their regular preseason practice schedule. The clinic, which was put on by the coaches association, hosted over 300 high school coaches from around the state of Minnesota.
The clinic included an entire day of sessions, hosted by members of the MSHSSCA in addition to the Golden Gopher staff. Since Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright took over the program six years ago, she has spoken and shared her knowledge at the clinic in every season.
"We want to reach out and show our appreciation for these coaches," said Denney Wright. "A lot of our players are home grown talent, and that is a tribute to these coaches. We want to come out here as a way to say thank you to these coaches for developing this talent."
The Golden Gopher effort at the clinic began with assistant coach Jerrod Roh speaking about goalkeeping and defense. Roh enlisted the help of Golden Gopher goalkeepers Katie Roberts (Apple Valley, Minn.) and Cat Parkhill (Apple Valley, Minn.). He began by demonstrating a drill he uses with his keepers, and then expanded on the drill to use almost the entire field and a full complement of players.
Roh spoke to nearly 60 goalkeeper coaches during his session, explaining practice ideas and game strategy, before closing with a question and answer session.
"I think it went pretty well, had great effort from our Gophers as usual," said Roh after his session. "I think there's always some reps that you'd like to have it go a little bit better, but repetition-wise, we did paint a pretty good picture for these coaches."
After Roh, Coach Denney Wright spoke next to a throng of coaches about how she coaches the game at the University of Minnesota. First though, she honored all the high school coaches in attendance, thanking them for their efforts at the high school level, and telling the coaches "this is your team" as 15 of 18 players in 2009 come from the state of Minnesota. After Denney Wright opened up, each player introduced herself, said where she was from and the name of their high school coach, with many of their former coaches in attendance.
Denney Wright then spoke of how she wants a fast and athletic team, and wants her team to play the game a fast pace. She also stressed competition in the drills her players were demonstrating, and at each step along the way, the players were challenged.
From passing drills between two players, to team play on a condensed field, each component emphasized speed and competition. While watching her players demonstrate, Denney Wright noted, "I want our practices to play faster than a game."
She also closed her session with a question and answer session, fielding several questions about the Golden Gopher attack. Denney Wright spoke to nearly 150 coaches in her time on the field, and after it was over spent another 20-30 minutes talking strategy, the Golden Gophers and all things soccer with many coaches that stayed around.
"I think we had a good day, and had a pair of good sessions," said new assistant coach Krystle Kallman. "The girls were sharp out there and had great communication. They did a great job of showing what we were trying to show."