D2 Soccer Camp teaches new skills to hundreds of campers

Published 1:19 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Dynamic Development (D2) Soccer Camp celebrated its tenth year from June 26-30 at Thompson High School, and even though there were challenges from the heat, camp director Dan DeMasters and the coaches rose to the challenge and gave local kids a full week of soccer and fun.

“It just went really smooth,” DeMasters said. “We had a lot of coaches that have been with me for a while and, of course, had some fresh new faces, but I think this is probably the smoothest camp we’ve ever had. I think a lot of new parents were like, ‘man, this is a well-oiled machine that you’ve got here.’”

Around 165 kids attended the camp to learn soccer skills from Thompson varsity girls soccer coach Dan DeMasters and his team of former players and coaches.

DeMasters feels blessed that the D2 Camp continues to have a phenomenal turnout every single year.

“To have a camp of 160, I’m blessed and humbled that parents still entrust us with their children,” DeMasters said.

Each morning, the coaches worked on a specific skill with the kids, including dribbling, shooting, passing, receiving and one-on-one defending.

The campers participated in games like World Cup, Dutch 3v3 and a skills competition to use all the skills they learned during the week.

Kids also got to have fun throughout the week with Uniform Day when they wore their soccer jerseys to camp, and Wacky Wednesday when they wore whatever they wanted to.

Throughout the week, the kids got to learn from coaches with success at every level of soccer.

Between the 24 coaches, they had 23 state championships, four Gatorade Players of the Year, 11 current and former professional and semi-pro players and 18 current and former college soccer players, nine of whom played Division I soccer. That meant the coaches had years of knowledge they could pass down to the campers.

“I’m sure that other camps have great coaches too, but one thing we pride ourselves on is the coaches’ soccer knowledge,” DeMasters said.

Due to the extreme heat during the week, the camp had to make some changes to ensure the campers’ safety. The coaches shortened sessions by about 15 minutes and gave the kids water breaks every 15 minutes. They also made the tough decision to cancel Parents Night, a Thursday night staple of the camp every year.

Thompson’s indoor facilities also helped with the heat by allowing everyone to use the indoor turf facilities and gyms to do sessions and play games in.

Coach DeMasters said that no matter the conditions or how impressive each coach’s resume is, they always have to match the campers’ energy, and they did just that to make the camp a resounding success.

“I saw a lot of coaches just bringing that energy every day, and that’s tough to do in the heat,” DeMasters said. “The coaches make the camp, so I couldn’t have been happier with how they did, and I think just as a staff, they brought it. They rise to the challenge.

“For the 10th year doing this, it just keeps getting better and better.”