By Abby Fazio
The 2011 ECNL/id2 National Training Camp took place from February 10-13 on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., bringing together a group of some of the best female youth soccer players from around the country born in 1994 and 1995.
Two local standouts, Lindsey Lane of Maryland’s Freestate Soccer Alliance and FC Virginia’s Murielle Tiernan, took part in the camp and shared their experiences with Potomac Soccer Wire upon their return.
“I love playing with other elite players because they are going through the same things I am; we’re all working towards the same goal,” said Lane in an email interview. “It’s awesome to be in an environment where everybody wants to win and get to the next level. This pushes me to keep working hard at camps and in my own training.”
A total of 83 players (43 born in 1994 and 40 born in 1995) representing 44 clubs attended the camp. In addition to six on-field training sessions or games played in front of U.S. National Team staff and a wide range of college coaches, participants had the opportunity to attend a range of educational presentations.
The camp was a joint effort between the Elite Clubs National League’s Player ID Program and US Club Soccer’s id2 national player identification and development program.
“The coaches and staff were very good,” said Lane, who is also a member of the U.S. youth national team pool. “They made me feel comfortable right away, and got to know me personally. They’re also really fun to joke around with, but they also give very good information on what you can work on.”
The only cost to players involved is that of travel to and from the National Training Camp. All lodging, meals and training gear are provided by the ECNL, U.S. Club Soccer and Nike. Included in the National Training Camp were special appearances and presentations from former Olympic and World Cup winning players, such as Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm.
“I was glad to hear that they are still passionate about the game, even after all these years,” said Tiernan.
Hamm and Lilly spoke to the girls about many aspects of the game. However, the camp wasn’t all work and no play, as Lane explains.
“Camp is hard work, but we have a lot of fun also. When on the field you’re focused and ready to play; off the field we have lots of fun and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people.”
Players attending the ECNL/id2 National Training Camp also have the unique opportunity to be educated about their physical performance during matches and training sessions using GPS technology. Dr. Jason Vescovi, an applied sport scientist with over a decade of experience in evaluating athletic performance in female soccer players, uses GPS to educate players on the physical demands of the game from the youth to professional level, and ways in which they can improve their own standards and performances.
“The camp gave me the chance to play with other players and work with different
coaches, something that I haven’t had the chance to do before,” explained Tiernan. “I learned a lot from the presentation by the sports researcher on work rate and percent of time that each position on the field spends running.”
Lane further explained the focus of the camp’s training sessions.
“Some of the on field learning from the ECNL/id2 training camp was to work quicker combinations and think more and more ahead of the ball,” she said, adding that one of the biggest things she took away from the training camp was “Don’t be scared to compete, know the score, and want to win every game you play. Every time you step onto the field work your hardest, because if you don’t, you’re not helping yourself or any of your teammates to get better.
“This is my second ECNL/id2 camp and it has also been a great experience. At ECNL id2 camp, we are evaluated in small groups and get individual coaching, which is nice.”