Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
Youth Soccer on Long Island has changed dramatically during the past five years. The formation of new leagues and programs has provided parents and their young soccer stars with a variety of options designed to serve all levels of skill and interest. The Mineola Athletic Association’s (MAA) Soccer program has kept pace with these changes with the introduction three years ago of its development program and one year later of its soccer tots division.
The relationship between MAA Soccer and its training partner, Empire Soccer Academy (ESA), have fostered many of these changes. Peter Hulse and Michael Todd founded ESA and employ trainers with diverse soccer backgrounds (including former Manchester United and Liverpool club players and several trainers who have represented their countries’ respective national teams).
ESA’s trainers share a common love for teaching the game and providing young children with an opportunity to learn the game in a fun and challenging environment.
“All of the guys are fully aware of their “role model” responsibilities and we look to hire the kind of person that you can see was born to teach and is great around children,” Hulse said.
ESA’s training philosophy includes a more cerebral approach than the typical training program. Hulse explains each ESA coach is mandated to “teach the kids the subtle nuances of the game” and ensure the young athletes are “constantly moving, touching the ball, thinking, problem-solving etc”
The group trains all MAA Soccer intramural and travel players. Hulse and the dedicated volunteers that help run the MAA Soccer program are constantly looking for ways to improve the program and the past few years have seen many positive changes. He is especially pleased with the recent additions of the Development and Soccer Tots programs.
“The Developmental Program has been a great success and the Soccer Tots program is about to go from strength to strength as we recently partnered with another company who specializes in training our youngest age groups,” Hulse said. “This fall we will be running the Empire Kickstart Program which will do even more to make sure the children love coming to soccer practice.”
MAA Soccer offers programs beginning with children as young as 3 years of age (must be turning 4 during the current year). As the organization has added and improved its programs, it has worked closely with ESA to ensure it remains a very valuable program (the programs cost between $70 and $150 per player, per season).
To learn more about or register for the MAA Soccer programs please visit us at www.mineolaaa.org. Registration for the fall is ongoing but early-registration rates will apply only to July 31.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Even rain couldn’t put a damper on children’s faces as they marveled at the Mineola tree across from Village Hall on Friday, Dec. 6 during the annual Christmas tree lighting. With the Chaminade High School Jazz Band rocking the community center across the street, residents and kiddies waited with bated breath and excitement for the tree to come alive, along with a visit from old St. Nick.
As the area between the Mineola Fire Department and Piccola Bussola began to fill up, the tree ignited with blue, green and red glory for all attendees to gaze at, while cars buzzing by on Jericho Turnpike now had a beacon in the night to guide them. Inside the community center, the band provided much needed holiday cheer, playing “Jingle Bells,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.