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Lake Placid Soccer Centre celebrates 45 years

Stuart Hemsley coaches at a Lake Placid Soccer Centre camp in 2017 in Lake Placid. (News photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — In 1977, three St. Lawrence University graduates, Larry McFaddin, Scott Williamson and Michael “Twig” McGlynn, who created the Lake Placid Soccer Centre the year prior, set up the Mountain View Soccer Camp at Northwood School in Lake Placid. Twenty-three campers within the age of 12 to 18 attended.

They lost $5,000 from that camp.

In the 45 years since they created the camp, 80,000 campers have attended the camps since they created the LPSC. Throughout the year, the camps, which are offered three to four times a summer, have provided elite level coaching for youth level soccer players.

The LPSC has placed an emphasis on the Coerver Coaching Method program, which was created by the late Wiel Coerver from the Netherlands. The Coerver Coaching Method, is a method to teach soccer skills to children at an early age. A major part of the method is the focus on individual skills such with a soccer ball and the ability to catch a defender off-guard.

According to McGlynn, who helped take part in the development of the coaching method, children who learn through this method develop better skills and become faster with the soccer ball.

A youngster fires the ball into a net as coach Olaf Carlson and a group of mighty mites watch during a drill in 2017 at the Jim Kordziel athletic fields in Lake Placid. (News photo — Lou Reuter)

“You used to see a coach, coach 11 players with just one soccer ball. But with the new method coaches use 11 balls for the 11 players,” McGlynn said.

The method is used in over 40 countries and most notably has been embedded into the St. Lawrence University soccer program. Bob Durocher, who was the the St. Lawrence University men’s soccer head coach from 1990 to 2015 and was named National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III National Coach of the Year in 1999 after winning the program’s first national championship, is a part of the staff at the LPSC that uses this method.

St. Lawrence University has been a major part of the LPSC, as the university has hosted many camps throughout the years, including a camp this year. St. Lawrence will host one of the three camps that LPSC is holding this year from July 23 to July 26. The other two camps are in Lake Placid.

One of the LPSC camps, that is in Lake Placid, has already happened, as it ended on July 16. The next camp in Lake Placid will be in August.

The camps previously were overnight camps, but due to COVID-19 they will only be day camps. The LPSC camps offer a program to children aged five to eight called “Mighty-Mites” which is a half-day program. The camp also offers full-day programs to children aged 9 to 18.

The LPSC staff is made up of a group of highly qualified coaches and trainers who have experience coaching and playing soccer at all different levels.

According to the LPSC website, the staff selects coaches who have an interest in working with the youth. They also select coaches who are pursuing or possess a master’s degree in education.

While the goal of the camp is to enhance children’s soccer skills, the camp does other activities to entertain the campers, such as face-painting.

“We want them to work hard, but we also want them to have fun and enjoy what they are doing,” McGlynn said.