Kickin' it at the winter soccer clinic

SYCAMORE – The Kishwaukee Family YMCA hosted a soccer camp last week for about 15 area children from the first to sixth grades.

“We do this every year during the holidays,” said the Y’s sports director, Dave Stouffer, one of the coaches for the camp. “We do both a soccer clinic and a basketball clinic.”

J.T. Littlefair, 7, of Kingston has participated in both sports at the Y.

“I like soccer and basketball but I like soccer better because I am really good at using my feet to kick the ball,” said J.T. between drills.

The children work on a variety of fun drills to hone their passing, dribbling, shooting, and defensive and team-building skills during each of the camp’s three two-hour sessions, which usually end with a scrimmage. They also work on the crucial soccer skill of not touching the ball with their hands.

“If they touch the ball with their hands, they have to do three push-ups,” Stouffer said. He or fellow coach Stefan Hueber will usually do push-ups along with the children.

Steve Bruhn takes his daughter Kayla, 7, to several camps and clinics at the Y throughout the year to keep her skills sharp for AYSO soccer in the spring.

“It was a good opportunity to burn off some excess energy during the break and to build up her soccer skills,” Bruhn said.

The Y’s basketball camp begins today and goes through Friday and like the soccer camp, it is available to members and non-members.