Lighting “The Way” Forward
2017 has been another exciting year of progress for us at the Elkhorn Soccer Club. When taking the time to reflect, I am amazed at the momentum we are generating toward our goal of building an organization and culture dedicated to the holistic development of our athletes. ESC is growing (1,462 registered players last fall), our facilities are improving and we have some of the most talented coaches in the area working with our children on a daily basis within unique, year-round programming for all ages and abilities. It is truly a great time to be a part of ESC!
Oftentimes I am asked what makes ESC different from other youth sports organizations, and I love the opportunity to speak passionately about the amazing things we are doing for children at our club. Here is a brief summary of what we call “The Elkhorn Way”- the guiding philosophy and curriculum for ESC - as well as a few other things that make ESC so special.
Mission, Core Values and Philosophy
Our daily mission at the Elkhorn Soccer Club is to develop a culture of excellence and create an organization that is committed to developing the person and the athlete. Our core values, what we call our “Pillars of Excellence”- Integrity, Respect, Commitment, Discovery, Inclusion- guide us in our daily work. We are committed to holistic child development, and our goal is to unlock the full potential of every athlete in a positive, safe and educational environment. Teaching the game of soccer is what we do, but along with developing skills and tactics, our ultimate goal is to teach life skills and have a positive influence on the life of every child participating in our programs.
Curriculum and Instruction
For over 30 years, Coerver® Coaching has built a curriculum and method of coaching that develops the core skills (ball mastery, first touch, striking the ball, passing and shooting, 1v1 and running with the ball) needed to play the team game in a modern way. A good level of core skills, together with the important physical, mental and tactical components of the game, is essential to playing the team game well, especially in the modern game where team possession is important. 15 of the 20 clubs currently participating in the English Premier League use Coerver® curriculum in their youth academies. Coerver® is also being taught at 17 international federations. We are fortunate to provide this world-class curriculum to our children and proud to be the only club in Nebraska to be a Coerver® Partner Club. This partnership allows us to provide a proven, cutting-edge curriculum to all of our coaches at ESC. More importantly, the Coerver®-based curriculum is fun and challenging for our players!
Along with the Coerver® curriculum, we also incorporate ideas and material from our partners at Celtic FC (Glasgow, Scotland), the United Soccer Coaches and the United States Soccer Federation. The combination of these resources along with the talented coaches and educators we have at the club have allowed us to develop “The Elkhorn Way.”
We are truly on the cutting-edge of holistic player development at ESC, and we will continue to do everything in our power to provide the curriculum and instruction necessary to unlock the full potential of every athlete.
We are making a strong effort to have more of a presence in the Elkhorn community and surrounding areas. Our 5K for special education programs was a positive step toward working together with the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation. Our new partnership with the Christian Outreach Program- Elkhorn allows us to provide assistance to members of our community who need a helping hand. Also, our support of organizations such as Football for the World Foundation and Lydia House gives us opportunities to assist others who face challenges. We feel like we are starting to help make a real difference in the lives of people in the Omaha Metro Area.
The most important reason why ESC is so amazing is the people who work within our organization. The parents, volunteers, board of directors and professional staff- all of the members of the ESC Family- are second-to-none. It is rare to see a youth sports organization that always places the needs of its children first and works tirelessly to provide the optimal environment for holistic development. It is a pleasure to work with all of you on a daily basis, and I thank you for everything you do to help move us forward, always forward toward our mission. Together we will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people in the Omaha Metro Area.
The path we choose to take at ESC is certainly the one less traveled in the field of youth sports organizations. Results-based coaching and lopsided ratios of games to training seem to be the norm these days. At ESC, we are determined to inspire our athletes to seek excellence in all aspects of their lives, not just win trophies. Those trophies will collect dust and end up in a box in some dark closet in the future. The life skills and lessons learned, on and off of the field, will last forever.
I am looking forward to continuing our journey together! See you along “The Way”…