Southington coach Mike Linehan held his Lady Knights Girls’ Soccer Clinic from July 6-10 at the high school. The clinic was broken down into four segments: technical, tactical, physical, and psychological. The technical aspects were the little things that they could do with the ball. The tactical things are the movements off of the ball. The girls worked on a little of their conditioning to prepare their bodies, such as stretching and warming down. Linehan said the psychological part focused on having the girls believe in themselves and have confidence to take risks.
“We are trying to help them better understand the type of culture and training that they’ll experience when they get to the high school,” said Linehan. “This week was goal-setting and they set their goals. We had them understand the types of little things that I’m going to be expecting of them as players.”
Linehan said that his clinic is a good way to prepare the incoming freshman for the fall season.
“After taking over the program last year, I found that the incoming freshmen were not ready to play, for a number of reasons,” said Linehan. There’s no criticism against anyone. Each coach has a style that they have and I’m using this as an opportunity to expose them to my style of play, so that when they become a ninth grader, they’ve been introduced to some of that already. My hope is that they’re better prepared.”
Not only does the clinic prepare Linehan’s future players, but Linehan said that it gives middle school girls a preview to what the high school program is all about.
“I want to give them a better understanding of what goes on here,” said Linehan. “Now, a high school or middle school student has a choice. There are a lot of good catholic schools and other opportunities that are around Southington. Unfortunately, they are picking some of our better players because of the potential thought that maybe it will be a better experience or better program. This is a way for me to market what we can do and the experience that they’ll have.”
Photos by BRIAN JENNINGS