RDS at Plainview, New York
It is hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the last Red Bulls RDS training was held at Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview, New York. For those of you who are scheduled to train there this July, here are some details from last year that will give you an idea of what it would be like.
Peter Collins Soccer Park is pretty cool for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s all grass fields. Also it’s the only soccer park where you get a chance to see enormous dragonflies hovering like helicopters over the fields. Another reason is that there is a gigantic farm-size shooting sprinkler. If you’re lucky, you can catch the biggest blast of water midway through the training session which cools you down faster than running into an air conditioned room.
Ricky King was the trainer for my group last year. Ricky is special to me because he was my first Red Bulls RDS trainer. He also is very encouraging and really gets out there on the field to demonstrate the activity. He even hangs out with us during break time, making funny jokes and giving us pointers on how to improve on our game.
The training days go by so quickly, but we cover a lot of ground. Even with two days of rain, we took advantage of the wet conditions by learning how to slide tackle. Ricky taught us to hook our foot around the ball in order to gain possession when you get up. We worked on 1 v 1’s, 2 v 1’s and combination plays so we can get around the defender easier. Playing in the rain was awesome!
Most days involved a skills challenge and every day we scrimmaged. As the weather turned sunny, we learned the L turn and U turn combinations with both feet so everyone had the chance to develop skills with each foot. There were 1v1 shooting and transition drills, with goalie participation so we could match our skills against theirs. Then the group went on breakaways. We really learned a lot.
The Red Bulls RDS is more than a soccer training camp. It has given me the confidence that I needed in order to succeed in any challenge that comes my way. This past year I participated in the NYS Eastern Olympic Development Team tryouts for the Boys 2000 Squad, with only a number attached to my shirt. The trainers who evaluated me knew nothing about me, other than my number and my performance at the tryout. I also tried out for a Boys U13 Premiere Club team. I really believe that I made the cuts because of my Red Bulls RDS training. Thanks, guys!