Utah Royals FC Assistant Coach Scott Parkinson, assembled youth clinics to continue the growth of women’s soccer and become Stronger Together within the community. The clinics are designed for young female athletes, to train with URFC staff and players to further develop techniques. Youth and staff are able to work together in creating a positive learning environment on both a coaching and playing level.
Utah Royals FC players Abby Smith and Erika Tymrak expressed how this opportunity delivers a learning experience for them, just as much as the young athletes. Smith and Tymrak are able to see the game at a different perspective and develop coaching tactics.
The overarching goal is empowering youth throughout the community, by utilizing soccer and showing appreciation to URFC fans. The emphasis on youth nights is attempting new skills and gaining creativity within the game. The unique smaller sized groups, also adds an opportunity for young athletes to ask questions and receive more attention than they would in a larger setting.
“We want them to come here and just be creative. There are not any repercussions of them making a mistake. So, we want them to try things out and see what works, and if it doesn’t work, they can keep practicing it,” expressed Smith.
When Parkinson asked the girls if they have attended a URFC game, most of the girls raised their hands. Parkinson expressed the importance of including the community outside of a game day, because it is more than filling the stadium.
“The best clubs in the world, they do more than just play on a Saturday. I think they really imbed themselves in the community, use the resources and the skills set that we have got, to get out there and actually make a difference,” said Parkinson.
Now, with the ability for youth to watch women’s professional soccer in the state of Utah, and then receive hands on training with staff, shows the growth of the sport and supportive community. Tymrak mentioned how rewarding it is knowing there are children who look up to the staff and players.
“It is really cool having people look up to you, and if we can help them, coach them, and show them what it is really like. I am all about that,” said Tymrak.
Inspiration sparks the youth clinics due to the ability as young athletes witness what it takes to progress to the next level of play. Through this opportunity specifically, youth are able to work with professionals and gain relationships to assist with the next step in their soccer career.
“I hope they are inspired and they can dream that you know maybe one day they can play in the pros, they can do it. See these players right in front of them, give them coaching tips, that is one of the goals,” said URFC Assistant Coach Amy LePeilbet.
The camps will coincide with the NWSL as more URFC players will assist in coaching the clinics to continue the growth of women’s sports in Utah. The 2019 NWSL schedule is anticipated to be announced in the upcoming weeks, as URFC will head into its second season in the league.