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EDP Featured Club: Sporting CT

By Evan Unger, 06/04/20, 12:45PM EDT



Name- Goran Vasic - Executive Director

What is the philosophy of your club?
Sporting CT is the premier branch of Middletown Youth Soccer and is a program vested in the holistic development of its players.

As a club we are committed to ensuring the experiences afforded to our members are of only the highest standard and guarantee to try and provide each player with the best possible soccer education available.

How does your club make that philosophy come alive for your members?
All of our Program Directors and Staff Coaches hold significant education and experience within both the soccer as former professional players and Child Development domains as  college coaches. As a result, the guidance and support each player receives will be based upon a proactive and pragmatic philosophy which holds their best interests at heart.

How does your club help your student-athletes balance their training/playing with their academics?
We emphasize both athletic and academic excellence, using soccer as a vehicle to teach important life lessons that help our players develop into well-rounded young adults who understand the value and importance of attitude and application.

How does your club balance individual player development, team development, and the pressure to win competitions (leagues, tournaments)?
Through our focus on the development of the individual, we strive to build innovative, technically proficient teams where success is measured in more than victories on the field.  We have accomplished our mission if our players' lives are enriched through their involvement with Sporting CT and if they experience the joy of playing quality soccer at the highest levels available in both Connecticut and New England.

 The Club’s goal is to provide the best possible coaching and support resources to enable each player to develop to his or her fullest potential, both as soccer players and as individuals. Through our commitment to providing the finest staff possible, our ambition is to produce players capable of competing at the: Collegiate, Professional and International levels. 

What does your club do to emphasize fun (which if not present is a major reason young people drop out of sports)?
As club we try to emphasize fun from early age and continue to promote that idea until they leave our club.We believe that that one huge factor that makes sports less fun and leads children to pursue other interests over soccer is loss of ownership of the experience.If young athletes are not having fun, they will eventually walk away, regardless of talent or how good their team or coach is. We as a club hold social events during the year for our players outside the soccer field with  pizza parties, bowling team parties, pasta dinner with coaches, visit to professional soccer and college games as a club  and have a big club end of the year barbecue event.

How does your club work with parents to maintain appropriate sideline behavior?
We have Sporting CT Club standards in place where each parent needs to follow rules set by the club.The most important thing to always remember is that the game is for the players. When  parents or others try to put themselves in front of the players, it usually ends up ruining the game for the players.  We try to educate parents to respect referees, coaches and other team players at all times.

What does your club do to help your student-athletes decide what to do after graduation from high school?
Our Sporting CT College Pathway and Futsal Director Andrei Popescu and Jarice Manson our Sporting CT College Prep Director run each year College pathway presentation for all our High school team members. Sporting CT works with local Division 1,2 and 3 college coaches to be our guest speakers who share their knowledge and give them valuable information to help our athletes choose what is right for each of them  to go about choosing the college they want to attend.

How does your club judge success?
Sporting CT doesn't judge success by winning or losing. We want to be a family oriented club where everyone feels welcome. We look into the long term development process by implementing fair play, developing good skills to each player, teaching them about leadership and commitment and with our coaching staff being role models to all our players on and off the field. If we do all of this right we can see success with having players come back to our club year after year.

What is your club doing to stay active with its members during COVID-19 quarantine?
We are staying very active during COVID-19 pandemic with our members.

As a club we are doing everything we can to keep the players engaged from weekly lesson plans, video challenges and zoom calls, without overwhelming them at the same time. 

We also run weekly workout sessions with Sporting CT Instagram Live and Zoom.