Fairfield High School hosted an open gym Wednesday for soccer players, and the Trojans head coach, Felisto Guezimane, talked about his program and the purpose of the open gym format.
Q) What is soccer open gym?
A) It?s an opportunity for the players to start working out, get a few touches on the ball and to get ready for the season. It also builds up chemistry and helps on their footwork. It?s a very good way for the kids to start playing the game before the season starts in March.
Q) How is pickup soccer in the gym different than what they play on grass?
A) The winter open gym will allow the players to work on their technical skills. Playing on a hardwood floor is more difficult than grass, so it will really help them develop ball control skills. It also gives an opportunity for the returning and new players to get to know each other and build up some chemistry.
Q) What do you hope to see during open gym, even if you aren?t allowed to influence it?
A) What I would like to see is for them to start building chemistry and start learning how to play with each other. There are a lot of new kids coming up, so it?s a good chance for them just to get used to the other players and start to fit into the team.
Q) How do you keep participation in the soccer program high?
A) I feel like Fairfield actually has a lot of kids that play soccer. It?s pretty amazing for a small town, the numbers have been increasing year by year. Next season I am expecting about 40 kids join soccer which is the largest number in Fairfield soccer history for the high school team. Many of those new kids have been playing together since they were eight or ten so to see them reach the high school level is great for the program.
Q) How much easier is coaching when the kids have played together before?
A) It?s a lot easier because for me I can use those more experienced players in practice fore demonstrations and it helps the kids pick up on things easier, We are fortunate to have many players with a lot of experience and most of them are seniors this year which will really help the new kids coming up.
Q) How often are they allowed to do this?
A) We have Wednesdays and Sundays scheduled.
Q) Who is it open to?
A) It?s open to all students. Usually I prefer the high school players but anyone who wants to come, it?s open for everyone. It?s not a structured practice, we have some kids that have never played that come in just to try it out.
Q) Where does the soccer program stand currently?
A) I think we are going to be good next season because a lot of the core from last year is returning plus we have many new kids coming up with lots of soccer experience. They are young, but they have a lot of experience playing the game and playing together. I?m looking forward to next season.