Blizzard Soccer is proud to call itself a “development club.” Ex-Blizzard players come back from college and university and tell us how much they missed our training techniques. A player who has been through our program is comfortable on the ball and has a good understanding of the game. Our main focus is on development, and we make sure the player is being trained for the long-term with skills, not just conditioned for the short-term to win.
A number of soccer players from top teams around the province struggle to perform basic moves such as pull backs, cuts and feints. We start EVERY practice the same way: core movement drills, repeating the basic and essential ball control skills. We end EVERY practice the same way: fun and small-sided games where the coach is not controlling every move.
Generally, in the Calgary area, most clubs start to focus on “playing for the team” or trying to “achieve results” too early. Players desperately need general ball handling, dribbling and passing skills work, as well as constantly returning to repetitive exposure to core skills. Instead of running laps and conditioning for 20 minutes to begin our practices, we have players utilizing the basic skills, such as dribbling, passing, moves, chesting, heading—all the skills they actually use in a game. Players who haven’t mastered the fundamental skills become frustrated because the game gets too difficult for them as they move into higher levels.
We work hard to make sure that when your child graduates from the Blizzard Academy program, they are happy with a ball at their feet, they can head the ball properly and safely, they can use both left and right feet and they have a great understanding of how to play the game.
In addition to the regular technical training that the Blizzard Academy provides we also offer other opportunities that enhance our players’ development.
Blizzard offers an In-house Keeper Training Program featuring Diogo Raposo. Diogo is our Head Keeper Coach for both the Blizzard Elite and Development programs and offers sessions for both levels of Keeper. The 2017 outdoor program will be held once or twice a week and will run from April through to the end of June. Days and times will be determined and announced on our website but plans are to hold it one night per week and one weekend morning. Blizzard is pleased to offer this training program to registered Blizzard players at no charge, as we value your dedication to our Club and your commitment to developing your skill. These sessions will be mandatory for all Tier 1 Keepers and optional for all Recreational Keepers.
Click here for details on the program and Diogo.
All Blizzard Tier 1 teams participate in mandatory strength and conditioning training at the Markin MacPhail Centre through WinSport at Canada Olympic Park. WinSport provides training to improve a players’ overall athleticism, speed and agility through programs specifically designed for soccer. Blizzard teams in other tiers have the option to participate in these programs as well.
Tier 1 U11 to U13 boys and girls participate in an outdoor prep fitness and training camp held annually in Penticton, BC, in the spring. Teams travel by bus to Penticton for four days of fitness, tech training and games. The weekend also provides a good environment for team bonding with our team talent show and beach soccer competition held at the end of the weekend.
Blizzard Academy strongly encourages our U14 – U18 Tier 1 and 2, boys’ and girls’ teams to participate in a number of Showcase Tournaments throughout Canada and the United States. Blizzard teams have regularly participated in the Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase, the Umbro Showcase in Toronto and other tournaments in Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas, Dallas and Minnesota. In addition, training camps have been organized in Germany with more training in Europe planned for the future.