By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
March 3, 2014-Approximately 10,000 soccer fans are expected to come to the Huntington Hilton on Route 110 in Melville from March 7 to 9 for the 32nd Annual Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Convention, which is one of the world’s largest soccer conventions.
The fun begins at 7 pm on Friday night, March 7 with the Annual Awards Dinner as the Volunteer of the Year from each LIJSL club will be honored. Sal Amorello of the Brentwood Soccer Club, Fritz Casimir of the Cambria Heights/Laurelton Soccer Club, Arlene Cirella of the Huntington Boys Club and the Merrick PAL’s Gregg Knight will be inducted into the LIJSL Hall of Fame at the dinner. The Boys-Under-12 and Girls-Under-12 Sportsmanship Coaches of the Year as nominated in an essay by their players will be honored as well.
Throughout the day on Saturday, March 8 and on Sunday morning, March 9, there will be LIJSL Sportsmanship Award presentations, meetings for club presidents, coaches and volunteers plus coaches and referee clinics. Thousands of soccer fans will again be purchasing items from vendors who have come from around the world. Some of the other highlights:
Coaching “D” Course (Saturday, March 8, 9:00 am-1:00 pm, Mattituck Room): The LIJSL "D" Course is a four-hour course designed for those who will be coaching youth soccer players from 4 to 10 years of age. Participants learn the proper methodology in teaching youth players who may be exposed to soccer for the first time.
Concussion Management (Saturday, March 8, 1:30 pm, Eisenhower Room): Moderated by Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Risk Management Director Jim Eleftherion, the course is focused on helping coaches, referees, parents and others involved with youth soccer avoid dangerous game situations that can lead to potential head injury plus recognizing and treating the symptoms of a concussion when they do occur. Participants receive a Heads Up course completion certificate, which will be required for all ENYYSA coaches and parents beginning this September.
Top 5 Coaching Techniques to Foster Player Psychological Development (Saturday, March 8, 11:00 am, Eisenhower Room): Moderated by Amanda Ferranti of Ferranti Empowerment and Mental Skills Consulting, this interactive workshop is meant to help coaches and parents develop new ways of incorporating psychological development into your existing training plans and make them part of your everyday conversation. The workshop will also identify the psychological components of sport and the mental skills that help athletes succeed.
Developing Mental Toughness For Soccer (Saturday, March 8, 1:00 pm, Salon D): The workshop discusses how to teach and develop mental skills that can help young athletes reach optimal performance and apply them specifically to the game of soccer. The moderator will be Dr. Shawn Arent, a professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies at Rutgers University and a member of the national staff for US Soccer.
College Forum (Saturday, March 8, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm, Salon D): For all interested high school sophomores and juniors plus their families. A panel of college coaches, players and soccer parents discuss NCAA requirements, financial aid and finding the right college. Spanish translation available.
Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame Awards Dinner (Saturday, March 8, 7:30 pm, Salon D): The second annual class of inductees are top Long Island soccer players Michael Collins, Ritchie Kotschau, Dominic Pedone, Sue Ryan, Jackie Shannon and Sara Whalen (Hess).
CPR/AED Certification Class (Sunday, March 9, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Mattituck Room): Long Island Care Group, Inc. is conducting a CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training course for both adults and children. The course is approximately three hours long and participants who complete the course will receive American Red Cross certification.
The Car Ride Home (Sunday, March 9, 11:00 am, Eisenhower Room): A discussion on identifying effective ways to communicate with young players and foster confidence and success in our youngsters. The program will also include how to establish expectations, set manageable goals, communicate and focus on positive parts of their game. Moderated by Amanda Ferranti of Ferranti Empowerment and Mental Skills Consulting.
Soccer Equipment Collection (Throughout the weekend, Hargraves Room): The LIJSL will be collecting used cleats, balls and team uniforms to benefit disadvantaged children on March 8 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and on March 9 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. For more information, please call Gina Titus at 631-872-7979.
Admission to the LIJSL Convention is free on both Saturday and Sunday.
Then the following weekend––Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16––the annual curtain raiser to the LIJSL Spring Season, the opening round of the Long Island Cup, kicks off. An amazing 1,538 travel and premier teams––798 boys squads and 740 girls teams––will be playing 10,770 games this spring.
For more information about the LIJSL Convention or LIJSL Spring Season, please contact the league at 631-648-9020 or log on to their website, http://www.lijsoccer.com/
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.