2016 Fall Community Cup
Posted by: Kincaid Schmidt | U11-U12 Girls Director of Coaching
When you care deeply about soccer, it’s easy to get caught up in the competition. However, for the young players who grow up in our program, the game is about far more than a final score. Over the seasons strangers become teammates, and teammates become best friends. No matter their placement, all our players are part of something bigger, the Rapids Youth Soccer community. The CRYSC Community Cup was created as a way to connect players to other teams, of both strangers and former teammates, competitive and outreach, to strengthen the bond across our community. Additionally, the event allows families to engage with the programming by volunteering to coach or facilitate the games.
Rapids Youth Soccer built up to the event with three “Community Training Nights” over the course of the fall Season. During these nights, we randomly assigned players to teams for unstructured, small-sided games for an hour. This allowed players to strengthen their creativity and critical-thinking skills, while breaking out of the comfort zone they develop with their teammates. Coaches noted the consistency in strategy across teams, from Select to Gold, that comes from our structured curriculum.
For the first time, Rapids Youth Soccer decided to integrate select participants from our Outreach programming into the event. Our Outreach Program is unique in the country because it offers players the opportunity to integrate into our elite programming. Stand-out players from our free Soccer for Success initiatives are invited to attend events such as the Community Cup and apply for scholarships to participate in our Competitive programming or the Development Academy.
The Community Cup itself formed specific mixed teams of Select, Burgundy, White, Blue, Gold, and Outreach players with parent-volunteer coaches. All teams competed in a small-sided tournament-style event at Aurora Sports Park. During the event, staff coaches were able to watch and evaluate players as they confronted new playing environments. Champions in each bracket were awarded with team tours of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The fall Community Cup began on the foggy morning of October 30. While the parent-volunteer coaches were encouraged to dress in costume for Halloween, all players were given special Community Cup t-shirts, modeled after the uniforms of the professional team and sponsored by Transamerica. The uniforms solidified the connection between our Competitive and Outreach players.
The Community Cup wouldn’t have been the same without an appearance by the Colorado Rapids Development Academy. These older players got involved with the games by coaching and facilitating where necessary, or helping out at the lunch tailgate. In one instance, the DA players even jumped in to help play a game. This kind of mentorship from our Colorado Rapids family was invaluable to all players at the event.
Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club would like to thank every player, volunteer, and sponsor for making this event a reality. We appreciated your help taking the day to recognize the community connection that makes Rapids Youth Soccer special. Thank you!