Nate Baker at the 2012 Fall Workshop

A Letter from SocMM: SocMM Cancels Summer Camps and Future Sessions

Note: The following is a first-hand letter from the founder of Soccer Mean More, Nate Baker Dear SocMM Family, When I started SocMM almost two and half years ago, my goal was More »

Summer Camp Weeks are Here!

SocMM Announces Two Summer Camp Weeks

SocMM is proud to announce two full-day summer camp weeks for the motivated player.  The camps will receive age-specific training that will improve each player both on-and-off the ball, while also including More »

Larry Mark (pictured) is one of the trainers

SocMM Spring Program: Individual Training Programs for Motivated Players

Soccer Means More is happy to announce our Spring Individual Training Programs. The individual training programs provide motivated players with an opportunity to train and learn from a SocMM Coach in a More »

Daryl Ferguson (pictured)

Ferguson and Mark named Co-Executive Directors; Baker takes new role as President

Soccer Means More is pleased to announce the promotion of its two lead staff coaches to the positions of Co-Executive Director .  Daryl Ferguson and Larry Mark, staff coaches from SocMM’s inception, More »

SocMM WA 5a

The Half-Way Mark: A Look Back at the First Four Weeks of the SocMM Winter Academy

The following is an entry written by SocMM Executive Director Nate Baker: This winter has been cold, rainy, windy, snowy and at times, completely miserable… But that hasn’t stopped our 20 motivated More »

A Letter from SocMM: SocMM Cancels Summer Camps and Future Sessions

 
Nate Baker at the 2012 Fall Workshop

Note: The following is a first-hand letter from the founder of Soccer Mean More, Nate Baker

Dear SocMM Family,

When I started SocMM almost two and half years ago, my goal was to start a program that molded children into great soccer players and people, while creating curriculums that were fun, engaging, instruction-based, demanding and affordable.  In two years through SocMM, we have run numerous seasonal sessions and three thrilling community workshops that allowed players of all experiences levels to enjoy the beautiful game.  I am extremely proud of the work our staff has done to affect the children in such a positive way, and thankful for the parents who trusted us to teach their sons and daughters.

In January, I was hired as the first assistant for the men’s soccer program at the US Naval Academy.  My work with SocMM both on the field and behind the scenes has allowed me to make a smooth transition to my new position, but with this new position, it became evident that the time I had to help SocMM continue to build and progress was no longer there, and I hated to think of the program becoming watered down or less effective because I couldn’t give it my full attention.

So I decided, in the best interest of the organization, to cancel this years’ summer camps and postpone indefinitely future seasonal sessions and community workshops.   In the mean time, we will just be offering individual training opportunities with our staff coaches, while continuing to post articles, videos and other useful resources on the site that will allow players the opportunity to get better on their own.

I wanted to thank a few people/organizations who have helped us make an impact these last few years.

First, I want to thanks Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School and John Reger for allowing us to call HTEDS home.  Your facilities and reputation gave us instant credibility, so thank you.

Secondly, I want to thank Sam Bishop for being the architect of our awesome website. Thanks for all your help in giving SocMM a strong online presence.

Next, I wanted to thank my friends and the staff who have coached or volunteered time to help us run sessions or put together the workshops.  It takes a lot of people with a single vision to have accomplished what we did in two years, so thank you.

Also, I wanted to thank my wife Brittany and my brother Ryan who were there from Day 1.  Without you two, SocMM wouldn’t have ever been able to happen.  Ryan created everything from the off-the-ball curriculums to the SocMM logo, and Brittany was able to give context to my vision, while showing me the best ways to create lasting relationships with our customers.

Finally, I want to thank every player that we were lucky enough to train.  Just about every player who walked through our doors was respectful, worked hard and eager to learn.  That combination of traits is a coach’s dream, so thank you for buying into the entire program.

Best Regards,

Nate Baker

SocMM Announces Two Summer Camp Weeks

 
Summer Camp Weeks are Here!

SocMM is proud to announce two full-day summer camp weeks for the motivated player.  The camps will receive age-specific training that will improve each player both on-and-off the ball, while also including leadership seminars, flexibility programs and game breakdowns that will help develop the complete player.

The camp will be run by our co-executive directors Daryl Ferguson and Larry Mark along with Strength Coach Ryan Baker and a host of other fantastic coaches who have played at the some of the highest levels professionally in this country and have years of coaching experience.

Both our camp weeks will take place at Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School, Upper School Campus (11902 Daisy Lane, Glenn Dale, MD 20769) and will run from 9-4PM.

Week 1:

Date: July 22-26, 2013; 9am-4pm every day

Ages: 8-13 (pre-high school)

Tuition: $300

Week 2 (High school Prep Week)

Date: July 29-August 2; 9am-4pm every day

Ages: 14-18 (Incoming Freshmen to Seniors)

Tuition: $300

 

To register online for one of our summer camp weeks, please click here.

If you have any questions, contact us by clicking here.

SocMM Spring Program: Individual Training Programs for Motivated Players

 
Larry Mark (pictured) is one of the trainers

Soccer Means More is happy to announce our Spring Individual Training Programs. The individual training programs provide motivated players with an opportunity to train and learn from a SocMM Coach in a one-on-one environment.

These individual sessions are tailored to the player’s specific developmental needs, which will allow for more development to occur.  SocMM coaches, who have all played at very high levels, will be able to build up the motivated player in your family in the following ways:

-Technically: The player will have their on-the-ball techniques developed and perfected, so they can function at a high level.

-Functionally: The player will receive position-specific training that will allow the player to use skills learned and apply it in a game environment.

-Psycho-Socially: The player will learn coping mechanisms to help the player to focus and succeed at a high level.  The player will also leave sessions with more self-belief and self-knowledge after discussing the proper mentalities and ways to prepare with a coach who has played at the highest levels.   The player is not only getting a coach, but he/she is also getting a mentor, which is vital for development.

Each session’s duration is an hour, and the frequency of the sessions is determined by the player’s family.  The sessions will take place in Bowie, MD, but it is possible to have sessions at a different location if it makes sense for both parties.

We have several coaches who have played at the highest levels.  Our policy is to hear about your player (via email or phone) and then match him/her with the best coaching fit.

Below is our fee structure.  Individual sessions can include anywhere from 1-4 players at a time.  With more individual players involved, the total cost increases, but the rate per player decreases, so if there are a few kids on your club team who want individual training, it can be more cost-effective to train with a few players as opposed to just one.

Ferguson and Mark named Co-Executive Directors; Baker takes new role as President

 
Daryl Ferguson (pictured)

Soccer Means More is pleased to announce the promotion of its two lead staff coaches to the positions of Co-Executive Director .  Daryl Ferguson and Larry Mark, staff coaches from SocMM’s inception, will take the place of Executive Director and SocMM founder Nate Baker as he transitions into his new role as the first assistant men’s soccer coach at the United States Naval Academy.

“Two years ago, I started a community-based training company that aimed to be unique and help motivated children become better soccer players and people,” said Baker.  “In that time, we have held numerous seasonal sessions and three free workshops for the Prince George’s community, and I am proud of the impact we have made.”

“Daryl and Larry are passionate about the game, have a vision for the future and love developing motivated players of all ages.  They were the first two staff coaches that I brought in, and they will ensure that Soccer Means More continues to grow, and that is the most important thing.”

Coach Nate will still be a part of the program and will fill the new role of SocMM President.  In his new role, he will oversee the program from a far, helping with big picture issues, while leaving the day-to-day management and on-field coaching to Ferguson and Mark.

“Being promoted to the co-executive director is a huge accomplishment for me,” remarked Ferguson. “We have a tremendous coaching staff and front office, and I believe Coach Larry and I can help SocMM continue to move in the right direction…”

“As co-executive director I would like to help SocMM become one of the premier player development programs in the country,” added Mark.

SocMM will be announcing its spring and summer dates later this week.

The Half-Way Mark: A Look Back at the First Four Weeks of the SocMM Winter Academy

 
SocMM WA 5a

The following is an entry written by SocMM Executive Director Nate Baker:

This winter has been cold, rainy, windy, snowy and at times, completely miserable…

But that hasn’t stopped our 20 motivated players from training outdoors with purpose all four weekends in January.  I believe the players have really bought into the idea that what we are pursuing is challenging but worthwhile.  The group is a very mature one that takes pride in their pursuit of getting better and rally behind the fact that not many people are out getting better when the conditions are not ideal.

Building the player’s mental resolve and building up their desire to improve is something that has truly came out of these sessions thus far, and will serve them well moving forward.

The Curriculum:

The first two weeks we focused on the players ability “running with the ball” through working on their dribbling, 1v1 moves and 1v1 turns.  We felt this was the place to start because each player was just going to train with their ball and develop their control and manipulation of the ball.

It was important to build a base of technical comfort on the ball, while giving the players techniques to help them develop.  Do you need other skills and techniques to be a good soccer player? Definitely, but we felt the first two weeks need to be focused around “running with the ball”.

Weeks three and four focused around passing and receiving and turns off the pass.  The first step was teaching the players proper first touch and passing techniques and then building off that by having the players have their first touch have a purpose (taking it across their body, away from pressure).  Then, we gave them tools to deal with defensive pressure within a game setting, and then would finish with a possession game that tested their new techniques in a fast-paced environment.  Week three was difficult, but we knew it would be.  Week four was much better because the players worked hard and pushed through some of the frustrations of trying to master some difficult material.

In their off-the-ball sessions, Coach Ryan has worked the groups hard. To this point, Coach Ryan has worked with the groups on their running form, explosiveness and agility.  The type of training is one of the unique things about our program, and as we move forward, the players will see how these off-the-ball techniques translate to the actual game.  The off-the-ball techniques can be abstract to the players at times, but in the coming weeks, I think they’ll really start to see how everything works together.

Finally, I have found the one hour free-play small-sided games, every Sunday, to be extremely fun to watch and a great ways for the players to put their new found skills into action.  We have tried to let the kids play with little coaching, and when they do something that we worked on the previous sessions, we celebrate it by being positive and encouraging them to continue to pursue that skill-set.  We will take breaks every twenty minutes and talk about some general things that can improve or some things they have done well, while always imploring them to be hardworking and daring in their play.

Conclusion:

We are in a great place half-way through the program.  Players of all backgrounds within the game have found their footing (no pun intended) within the program, and that’s extremely important.  The players have been fantastic, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to develop the next four weeks.

 

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