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id2 Camp Participants Reflection

Brittany Duncan and Conant Smith were selected to a US Club Soccer id2 Training Camp in Raleigh, NC. The event brings together some of the top girls and boys from around the country who were born in the year 2000. Duncan plays for Bobby Puppione and Kim Scheper on the CUP u13 Girls Gold team and Smith plays for Paul Rockwood on the CUP u13 Boys Gold team.

id2 Program Training Camps are invitation-only events that bring together the nation’s top male and female youth players for four days of competition, evaluation and fun. U.S. Soccer National Team staff, some of the nation’s top coaches as well as elite guest coaches and players attend id2 Program Training Camps. In addition to the on-field sessions, id2 Program Training Camps feature guest speakers, lectures/classroom sessions and other offerings.

The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation, and aided by their time in the id2 Program, numerous alums have advanced into U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.

We asked Brittany and Conant a couple questions to reflect upon their experiences at the national camps.  Brittany’s responses are under “BD” and Conant’s are under “CS.”

Describe your experience at the id2 camp.

BD: “My experience at the national camps was exciting.  At the camp, there were people who were faster and stronger than me and some were better than me which helps me aim towards becoming faster, stronger, and working harder during games/practices. Going to both the ODP national camp and the id2 camp have benefited my level of play with soccer. Coming home from these camps, I feel that I know so much more about soccer.”
CS: “My experience at ID2 camp in North Carolina was amazing! I met some really great soccer players! Ever player there was super nice. I had the best roommates.”

What were some of the things you learned at the camp?

BD: “I learned that you should never just go through the motions even on the simplest of drills because you then aren’t benefiting from the drill and you won’t be any better than you were than when you showed up to practice.”
CS: “While I was at camp I learned to drop back to receive a pass which creates more space and relieves pressure. I also learned as a center back you have to tell players what their options are, where to go and point directions for where a good place the ball should be. Also TALK A LOT!”

How has CUP helped you prepare for that experience?

BD: “Without having great coaches who have pushed me to become a better player and great teammates who have challenged me to become a better player, too, I would not be the player I am today.  Every person on my team has pushed me and challenged me during practices and games. If I didn't have the great coaches and teammates I have around me right now, I would not be the player that I am at this very moment.”
CS: “CUP has helped me prepare for this camp by teaching me to talk every minute of the game.  My coach has also told me to trust my first touch which I did and did very well. CUP has helped me become a better player and improve my skills. Without CUP, I would not have had this amazing opportunity to go to id2.”

What advice would you give our younger players?

BD: “I would tell the younger players to always work their hardest even though they might not feel 100%. When playing soccer, you don’t just play or go through the motions, you work hard all the time. Also, I would encourage them to go outside every day and do soccer, be it hot outside or cold outside. If it’s raining a lot, dribble a soccer ball throughout your house or a tennis ball. One other thing I would tell them would be is if you make a mistake, don't worry about it and that you'll get the next one. Lastly, I would tell the younger players to just have fun while playing the best they can.”
CS: “I would tell the younger players to start talking at a young age.  Work on their one touch and fast play. Start talking, saying ‘man on,’ ‘turn,’ ‘you have time,’ ‘swing it,’ and ‘switch it!’ Most of all HAVE FUN and enjoy the game!!!!”

What is quote you live by and explain what it means to you.
BD: “A quote I live by is one from Mia Hamm, “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you, is a little girl that fell in love with the game and never looked back.” This quote means to me that ever since I was in preschool I loved soccer and wanted to be the best I could be, maybe even better. Also, since I was a little girl I have always wished to become a professional soccer player which can be represented by the part of the quote that says, “…is a little girl that fell in love with the game and never looked back.”

CS: “‘There is NO I in Team’ It takes a team to win in soccer. I try to apply this to my game and that helps me to be a better player and teammate.”