DYSA limits practice to two nights a week

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Corbin Miller , Reporter

Living in such an athletic and active community like Durango allows the youth to participate in multiple sports, one of which includes soccer.

Many soccer players at Durango High School participate in Durango Youth Soccer Association (DYSA) during the fall and spring seasons when they are not playing soccer at DHS to keep up their skills and practice.

During the DHS soccer season, the players practice everyday after school, five to six times a week, on the turf field at the school. While playing for DYSA, the teams practice two days a week on fields supplied by the city. Many DHS Soccer players, like sophomore Leland Heinicke, play on both teams.  

“We’re not going to get better only playing two days week,” said Heinicke.

For players like Leland, it is important to them that they get as much time on the field as they can with a ball at their feet practicing with their team. Players can easily work on their skills during their own time as well, but they know that it is important to practice with their team to have the ultimate success.

Although many players would like to practice more than two times a week, DYSA is only able to supply a certain amount of fields to their 22 teams, six of which play competitively in Albuquerque.

DYSA Technical Director, Kate Stahlin, has been working with DYSA for a little over 10 years. She oversees all the operations of DYSA and also works as a coach for the club.

“We struggle to provide adequate facilities for our teams as it is, so adding an extra night would make it difficult to squeeze all out teams into the fields we have,” said Stahlin.

DYSA has teams practicing at Riverview and Smith Sports Complex up at Fort Lewis College. Currently, the club is waiting to release the Smith Fields to teams because those fields current conditions are poor, due to the effects winter has on soccer fields. All the teams have been practicing at the Riverview fields while waiting for the other ones to open.

DYSA supplies every team with a certified coach. Many of the coaches, like Darren McKinnis, who has been coaching with DYSA for around five years, believes practicing more than two times a week would be great to improve their players, but understands the lack of fields and commitment level to club soccer limits the amount of practices.

“I think that the amount of practices a team has should be based on age level,” said McKinnis.

Many of the older teams in DYSA, like those that are in high school age groups, would prefer to practice at least three times a week.

“It makes sense for older high school teams to practice more than two times week because they are usually playing more competitively. I think that younger age groups are good with practicing two times a week so they don’t burn out and still enjoy the sport,” said McKinnis.

Many parents of DYSA players, such as Lindsey Neiman, whose 12-year-old daughter plays on the Select ‘05 Girls team, prefer the two practices a week schedule for the age group their daughter is playing in.

“At this age, more practices may prohibit a young athlete from participating in other sports. At 12-years-old we feel strongly that kids should participate in several activities. As athletes enter into high school, they can decide which activities they would like to focus on most, and additional practice time would be more appropriate,” said Neiman.

Many soccer players in DYSA are involved in multiple sports. Practicing two times a week helps them balance their various sports.

“Our club has to meet the needs of a lot of different athletes. We support many multi sport athletes, and I think that is what makes our community so special is how not only are many athletes involved in so many activities, but that they are doing their activities at such high levels, ” said Stahlin.

DYSA’s two practices a week schedule works very well for the active and athletic community that Durango provides. It allows many younger athletes to experience multiple sports, so that when they are older and play sports in high school, they will have an understanding of what sport they would like to pursue.