2009-04-10 / Sports

West End Temple Soccer Clinic Scores GOAL!

By Lauren Monte

The young soccer players get lessons from the coaches. The young soccer players get lessons from the coaches. Dribble. Kick. Score. Sunday, March 29, marked the completion of the Winter 2009 Children's Indoor Soccer Clinic at West End Temple. Developed and run by NSCAA certified soccer coach Marc J. Monte, this program has quickly become the talk of the Rockaway peninsula.

Rockaway residents have coined the term "West End Soccer Program" when referring to this developmental training program for 3- to 8-year-olds, thus helping to raise the profile of the West End Temple establishment amongst the non-temple members of the Rockaway community. Over the course of the last two years, the program has grown from one class of 4- to 6-yearolds, to three groups; a 5- to 8-year-old intermediate/advanced class and two 3- and 4-year-old classes. Parents routinely line the walls of the Nagin Auditorium and cheer on their smiling youngsters as they run, jump, kick and play.

Coach Marc, as the children call him, leads his young protégées through age appropriate developmental soccer exercises and games aided by his able assistants Stephanie Shapiro, Tara Shea, Christina Rocks and Fallen Mullen, all of whom recently received their certification as coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Together they fulfill the primary goal of this program, to introduce young children to soccer from a conceptual standpoint, as an aim-driven series of disciplines rather than a free play activity. The attitude of Coach Marc and his staff also promotes the philosophy that skill development is necessary, but soccer remains a game and it has to be fun.

NSCAA certified soccer coach Marc J. Monte gives lessons to the kids. NSCAA certified soccer coach Marc J. Monte gives lessons to the kids. Coach Marc attributes the success of his program to several key, interrelated factors. "It was designed with a clear goal in mind and it speaks to the most basic needs of children that sports can fulfill; they need to have fun."

When reflecting on her son Brody's participation as a three-year-old, mom Palma Genovese said, "It was the perfect introduction for him to become part of a team, in the comfort of a loving and nurturing environment. It was structured enough to encourage teamwork, improve listening skills and cooperation, and laid back enough so as not to feel like I was placing him in a competitive environment at such a young age."

A soccer player gets ready to make a kick. A soccer player gets ready to make a kick. Daniel Questel and his wife found the program to be a fabulous fit for their sons Jack and Johnny. "Having the indoor sessions in the colder months is perfect, because it gives the kids something to do in the season where most of the time they seem to be indoors." They have observed increased focus, determination and interest in the game on the part of their children and find a definite improvement in their self-esteem.

Teresa Israel and her husband are thrilled with the program's friendly, positive, sports-minded environment. Her daughter Mary looks forward to the sessions. "We have tried many other activities/programs … with the hope that she would find something that interested her enough for her to want to work hard and build stamina."

"She is learning the value of exercise, team membership, good sportsmanship and a love for the game of soccer," Israel said. "We have found the perfect place for her in this program!"

When observing the attentive and nurturing manner in which Coach Marc regularly interacts with his students, parents are always surprised to discover that he spends his days as a senior council and head litigator for Wingate Kearney & Cullen, LLP.

He also continues to hone his coaching skills as a U8 and academy coach with the Brooklyn Italians Soccer Organization and routinely organizes NSCAA state and national level coaching courses on their behalf.

A true visionary, Coach Marc continues to look to the future and plan for the further expansion of his program to accommodate the top group as they get older. "They need a more competitive level of play and increasingly more sophisticated instruction," he explains.

While he plans on continuing the developmental classes for the youngest players, Marc is working towards forming a local league team of 5- to 7-yearolds to participate in more formal competitive matches at the Aviator complex.

Many of the program's top players have been working with Coach Marc since the program's inception last winter, and he sees a future for his players where they can continue to develop as a traveling team and play together beyond the borders of the Rockaway peninsula.

Coach Marc plans on taking the summer off to focus on his family; wife Lauren, sons Daniel and Harry, and eagerly anticipated new baby girl. However, he looks forward to reuniting with his cherished West End Temple soccer friends in the fall when the program is set to resume.

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