This week I had the opportunity to attend a youth soccer camp in Downtown Los Angeles. The camp was put on by Celebreight F.C. which is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain by Danny Lederman.
Danny's son, Ben Lederman, is well-known in many serious U.S. Soccer circles. He is the first American to ever be invited to play for F.C. Barcelona's Youth Academy. And not only has he played there- he has excelled.
During his time in Barcelona, Danny has fielded many requests for training and other opportunities similar to Ben's. That is part of the reason why Danny started Celebreight F.C.. Another part is to spread a message. A message that there is a better way of doing things. There is more to soccer than being a superb physical specimen. Soccer can, and should, be played with the brain.
The camp I attended featured all boys, most of which were under the age of fourteen. The players participated in two field sessions that day and coaches focused on different themes in each. In between each field session was a very unique experience. The coaching staff- two young, energetic, and intense guys from Barcelona- brought the boys into a classroom setting and gave their brains a workout. They discussed different types of support while in attack and how to properly mark your opponent when out of possession. The kids were engaged and asked to interact verbally, but also by taking notes in the booklet provided by Celebreight F.C. which had the same visual examples of each slide being presented by the projector.
All said and done it was money well spent. It wasn't your typical daycare drop off type of camp we see provided by the local universities or British Invasion tours. This was a serious camp geared towards serious players. It gives players, parents, and coaches an insight as to what is being taught at the highest level by the worlds top coaches.
I must add that this camp was not meant to be open for public viewing. A post on Twitter by one of the dad's at the camp caught my attention. Him and I exchanged a few messages and before I knew it he had gotten Danny's approval for me to come down and take a look. I ended up bringing my assistant coach down to L.A. with me (on his birthday). While I was there, I posted something on Twitter and shortly after another coach, a follower of mine, arrived and asked for permission to watch. Danny welcomed him with open arms. He even let all three of us spectators sit in on the classroom session.
Thank you, Danny! And thank you Celebreight F.C. for providing these young American players, and a few American coaches, with an opportunity of a lifetime.
[Danny, and his coaches, were nice enough to let me ask them a few questions and be recorded. Here are a couple clips from our conversations.]