Category Archives: SocMM Community

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.

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.

Ten Things We Are Thankful For

 
#6 The Free Workshops

2012 has been a fantastic year for SocMM, and now that we are coming to the end of the year, it’s important to look back and reflect on some of the things that we are thankful for.

Ten Things We Are Thankful For (No Specific Order):

1-Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School (HTEDS):

HTEDS has been the host of every SocMM event this past year except for one.  They have been a huge part of SocMM’s growth because they allow us to use their fantastic facilities and have been supremely hospitable despite SocMM being a company still in its infancy.

Without a place to call home, we wouldn’t have had the amount of success that we enjoyed this year.

2-Our Coaching Staff:

We started with four coaches (Daryl, Larry, Nate and Ryan) and now have build up our coaching family that much more.  This year we were able to incorporate Coach Biko Kujifi and Vassar Cates into our staff and our staff is better off for it.

Having a young staff with a strong background in the game allows the SocMM message to truly get through to the kids, and we hope to build on our staff moving forward.

3-New Partnerships:

For the Fall Workshop, we were able to do a few things we haven’t been able to do to this point.  First, we got a sponsor to help pay for the day.  SocMM parent Eric Davidson of Allstate came to SocMM with the idea this past summer, and we hope this partnership lasts us moving forward into future workshops.

Also, we are thankful we are able to start building a coalition of soccer clubs from the area that want to do right by the kids in Prince George’s County.  Bowie, Glenarden, Lanham and South Bowie Boys and Girls Club along with Glenn Dale Recreational Council helped spread the word within their communities about this past Fall Workshop helping us to achieve record numbers for attendance.  They also acted as vendors at the workshop making sure that every child who participated in the workshop would have a place to keep playing next spring. We hope to keep building on our new partnerships moving into 2013.

4-Building New Curriculums:

The Best Day in the History of SocMM: A Recap of the 2012 Fall Workshop (Plus Pictures from the Day)

 
DC United's Conor Shanosky (middle) during his Guest Speaker Speech

Disclaimer: The following article is a first-hand recap of the 2012 Fall Workshop by SocMM Executive Director Nate Baker

I think when you put together an event like this, you aren’t quite sure how it will turn out.  So much is dependent on factors that we had no control over, so we put together what we knew was a great product and hoped for the best.

But it turned our better than we ever could have hoped for…

We had 136 kids participating on the field with the pros this past Saturday, which almost tripled out best attendance at our previous two workshops even though we narrowed the age range of the players we would train from 7-17 to 7-12. The players were enthusiastic, respectful and enjoyed training with former professionals, while taking part in a curriculum that was challenging and possibly different than anything they had encountered before.

Each player sported the official Workshop training shirt, which was a smooth baby-blue shirt that made the atmosphere seem even more special. It was a great sight watching numerous children from the area, from different backgrounds in life and in the game, wearing the same SocMM gear and enjoying a day of soccer on absolutely beautiful fall day.  It’s something we will never forget.

I want to thank all the volunteers and vendors responsible for making the day what it was.  Having local boys and girls clubs and youth programs at the workshop was huge.  It helped us reach kids that we hadn’t been reaching in the past and gave the event the “community feel” that we have been striving for since we started running the workshops a year ago.

Our volunteers were fantastic and I wanted to single our Nina Moses who pretty much ran the show during the workshop.  She stepped up and filled General Manager Brittany Baker’s shoes very well, and we are thankful she is a part of our program.

I also want to thank our sponsor Eric Davidson from Allstate.  Speaking with Eric after the workshop, you could feel the excitement he had for not only how well the day went, but what this meant potentially for future workshops.   Without Eric, we would have struggled to come up with the funds for advertizing and purchasing the shirts the kids went home with, so thank you for your support.

Also, we want to thank the Bowie Patch and Bowie Blade for featuring us in the lead up to the workshop.  We saw a major spike in sign-ups once your articles went up, so thank you for that.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our awesome coaching staff.  Thank you for your enthusiasm and brilliant coaching.  All the kids enjoyed the training, and all ten of you are the reason for that.

Another portion that the kids loved was our guest speaker speech delivered by DC United’s Conor Shanosky.  The kids asked a bunch of great questions, which showed me how much they took an interest in being around one of their heroes.  Conor was great and stayed after to take pictures and sign autographs, which was fantastic for the kids, so thanks Conor for being such a great guest speaker!

In summation, it was the best day in the short history of our company, and we hope the SocMM Workshop continues to grow and become a staple of the local community.  Thanks again for your part in such a special day!

What’s next?

Well if you enjoyed training on the field this past Saturday, we encourage you to sign up for our SocMM Winter Academy.  The academy is a 20-session program that starts in January and runs through early March.  It’s an age-specific program that offers the best of the SocMM curriculum.  For more information on the Winter Academy, click here.

To register, you can click here.

Pictures from the 2012 Workshop!

Brandon Pigg did a fantastic job documenting the Fall Workshop through photos.  We will be posting a number of photos from the workshop every few days for the next few weeks on our SocMM Facebook page.  Please go to our SocMM Facebook page (click here), “like us” once you get there and share/tag yourself in pictures from the day.  We want the people within your communities to see what a special day it truly was.

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