Saturday, January 15, 2011
Scoring In the Inner City: Paul Kitson & Varsity Soccer 365
Eat Soccer strives to bring awareness to players, clubs and programs within the global soccer community who are making a mark for the beautiful game.
Today, I am proud to introduce you to my friend, Paul Kitson, Jr. We met during a coaching stint at the 2009 Bank of Bermuda Pro Soccer Clinic in Hamilton, Bermuda. Paul will tell you in his own words about his journey to soccer, and how he is doing his part to develop the next generation of players with his company, Varsity Soccer 365.
My soccer journey began just barely after I could walk. According to my family, I was dribbling a soccer ball before my second birthday.
I had the honor and privilege of learning the beautiful game from, a professional soccer star, my friend, mentor and father, the late Paul Kitson, Sr. He set the foundation for everything I know about soccer.
I can clearly remember that my father never pressured me to play, or pushed me to be the best or to even be like him. I was given the freedom to build my own relationship with the game, something I’m truly grateful for. More importantly, I was allowed to figure out which parts of the game I enjoyed the most, which kept my experiences and passion for the game pure.
For me, what separates soccer from other major sports is the freedom for creative expression on the field. This has always been my favorite element of the game. Many soccer fans and young players, learning the sport, want to see goals and hold goal scorers in the highest regard (which is great!). However, I was always more intrigued by plays, a player who set up the goal, what happened ten seconds before the goal was scored and who broke down the other team by outsmarting them with an incredible pass.
I always asked my dad for a copy of the game tape right after we left his games, and I would study it as if I had to take a test afterward on what I had seen. My affinity for the creative aspect of the game motivated me to work diligently on my skills so that I would have the physical tools to pair with my vision and awareness. Coupling that with the fact that I always had fun on the soccer field, you could always find me with a smile on my face even during the most difficult training sessions.
The lessons I learned as a young student-athlete led me to a successful high school career at Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) during which my team won the NJ State Championship in 1999 and three years later to an NCAA Div 1 Patriot League Conference Championship at Holy Cross in 2002. Through hard work on the practice field, focus in the classroom and the grace of God, I’ve traveled to play soccer throughout most of the United States, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, England, Canada and Bermuda. I’ve been fortunate enough to have trained with professional players and gained lifelong friends through this beautiful game. I didn’t realize it when I was young, but now I know soccer is the greatest gift I could have ever received from my father. I will always be eternally grateful to him for it.
“When individuals take on the responsibility of pursuing excellence both on the field and in the classroom the possibilities are endless.”-Paul Kitson, Jr.
Paul Kitson, Jr. is the owner of Varsity Soccer 365, a company that promotes physical fitness and overall well-being by teaching players of all ages the game of soccer. With a heavy emphasis on creative, technical development, Varsity Soccer 365 aims to provide students of after school programs, in the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York areas, with a safe, healthy, effective and fun way to exercise.
To learn more about Varsity Soccer 365 and how you can bring their programming to your district, contact Paul Kitson at Varsitysoccer365@gmail.com or visit www.varsitysoccer 365.net. To receive timely soccer advice for players in your area, checkout Paul’s blog Side Street Soccer.