Stillwater News Press


July 11, 2012

Stillwater High School soccer teaches kids at annual camp

STILLWATER, Okla. — In a typical season, Stillwater High School boys’ soccer coach Seth Condley will run his team ragged to improve its conditioning.

Tuesday, Condley was the one doing the conditioning — running from scrimmage to scrimmage trying to help all 75 participants in the Pioneer Soccer Academy improve their game in some way.

“I want to coach every team,” Condley said. “That’s the hardest thing for me. I’m walking around and I want to coach that team and say, ‘Hey, you did this right, but you need to work on this.’ But I’ve got to let their coaches do their job. That’s the hard thing, not taking over the team. It’s kind of my personality with soccer. If I see something, I want to correct it right then, but I got to let the handle it because they know what they’re doing.”

Condley may not be able to coach the camps participants as much as he’d like to yet, but with both current and former players assisting in the camp he knows the participants are getting plenty of tutoring.

“It’s pretty cool for the kids to be able to interact with those current and former players,” Condley said. “I hope it means a lot to them that they want to be a part of this. You want to build a bond for whenever I’m gone and for future generations of coaches to help continue to build both the club and high school programs.”

For former Stillwater player Lucas Hess — who now plays at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa — said watching the younger players keeps him coming back each year.

“Seeing those little kids playing, I really want to go out and get some buddies and go play again,” Hess said. “It’s great seeing all these people come out and all these kids that love playing the sport. It just kind of brings back the days of being a little kid and playing again.”

Condley said the premise of the camp is to basically teach kids the fundamentals of soccer while also making sure the campers also have plenty of fun. One of the ways he stresses those fundamentals is through various contests.

“What we’re hoping is that they pick up a couple of things here and there,” Condley said. “We know we’re not training the next Major League Soccer star yet, but we might be. Basically we just want these kids to develop a love for the sport and hopefully form some friendships for later in life.

“We just want to teach them the basic fundamentals — stuff they can use later in their careers. You wouldn’t believe how many illegal throw-ins there are at the high school level. That’s one of those plays where you get a chance to keep possession of the ball, and if we can start forming those good habits at a young age it will make them all better players in the long run.”

Still, Condley said at times it’s hard to remain on the sidelines — especially with his son Griffin Condley competing in the throw-in contest.

“It was kind of tough for me,” Condley said. “As a coach, you want everybody to do well. But as a dad, you can’t help but to hope you’re son is the best. I was just glad he got in the top four in his age group. But the main thing is that he had fun doing it and that’s what it’s all about.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OSU Sports
High School Sports
Sports Columns