Tahoe’s premier soccer club is looking for new recruits
The Sierra Soccer Club, Tahoe’s only organized competitive soccer club, is holding tryouts for serious players ages 10 to 13 on Oct. 14 and 21 in Truckee.
The club is focused on fostering a great learning environment, with professional coaching and training, to enhance player skill development and team concepts.
“Soccer is a game of individuals in a team environment that are called upon to solve problems under match conditions,” club president Rich Welsh said. “Like life, making the correct decision on or off the field can benefit our young athletes for years to come.”
The club recognized the need for more experienced coaching two years ago and has made strides to bring in trainers and coaches with extensive soccer backgrounds.
“The kids are improving through the professional training which enables our athletes to better themselves technically and tactically,” Welsh said. “The training also enhances our coaching staff by helping them to correctly identify our young athletes needs.”
Last year, the club hired Dennis Belisle, a full-time director of coaching and player development. Belisle previously served as the director of the Napa Valley Youth Soccer Club, where he also coached at Pacific Union College.
“Our goal as a club is to lay the groundwork for our kids to continue to enjoy the success of American soccer,” Belisle said. “Parents want their kids to get involved with a sport that allows the kids to make decisions, and they can do that at any age with a little guidance.”
Belisle has earned various coaching licenses in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, the English Football Association and the Federation of Bolivian Futbol Modern Tactics.
In addition to Belisle, the Sierra Soccer Club has enlisted the help of trainer Jessica Perry, who is a former Division 1 collegiate player who has coached at the prominent San Juan Soccer Club in Sacramento, where she also played.
She is currently the head coach of the U-14 girls’ SSC Tahoe Trouble and trainer for the U-14 girls’ SSC Nitros.
“Coaching is incredibly satisfying,” Perry said. “At these ages, it’s not all about winning.”
“When my kids score a goal, of course I get excited. But it’s even better when they make a great play to get the ball into that position. That’s the satisfaction.”
In addition to these teams, she works with each of the club teams as a trainer once a week.
“It’s important the kids learn good technical skill from the beginning of their training,” Perry said. “Then, as they grow up and learn more about the tactics of the game, they are able to technically do everything they want to do on the field.”
The club hopes to teach their players good skills at an even younger age this upcoming year by including an under-11 program.
“When the kids have a good teacher when they’re young, there is less to correct later on down the road,” Belisle added.
Perry and Belisle plan on working together to foster the new, young team in the club, to build a stronger foundation to produce players capable of competing at the highest level, in tournament play as a youth, and onto collegiate or professional ranks.
“We want to set up an environment where the kids have fun and learn,” Belisle said. “It’s important for the kids to enjoy themselves and the sport they play.”
The club recognizes there are many soccer groups which helped lay the sport’s foundation in the Sierra and hopes to help soccer grow collectively in the community.
“We want to unite the players of North Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Incline and encourage participation in the sport,” Welsh added.
AYSO players, along with any other interested participants, are invited to the tryouts.
Age group tryout times for both Sundays are as follows for boys and girls: U-11 (born between 8/1/90 to 7/31/91) from 9 to 10 a.m.; U-12 (8/1/89-7/31/90) 10 to 11 a.m.; U-13 (8/1/88-7/31/89) 11 a.m. to noon; and U-14 (8/1/87-7/31/88) noon to 1 p.m.
Players are asked to bring a white T-shirt that can be marked, a ball, cleats, shin guards and water. Tryouts take place at the East/West Field in Truckee between Tahoe-Truckee High School and Sierra Mountain Middle School on Donner Pass Road.
For more information, contact Welsh at (530) 587-5071 or Belisle at (530) 550-8399.
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