BAY RIDGE — It’s a goal in Bay Ridge.
Rodolfo Amoresano, director of operations for one of the neighborhood’s newest sports programs, the Bay Ridge Soccer Club, wants to bring kids together with the sport.
The program has been open for just a few months and has already had an impact on its members, kids born from 2004-2016.
“The basic idea is to use soccer as a way to develop better character and to make kids happier, healthier, stronger,” he said. “Obviously, we also want to develop good soccer players and that’s our background, but we look at it as a tool to enrich kids, to improve them and make them good soccer players.”
The program is currently doing clinics, after-school programs and a year-round soccer club program.
Amoresano is originally from Argentina. He played at Arizona State University and professionally for the Phoenix Inferno in the MISL. The program’s Director of Coaching Artem Makarenko has over 10 years of coaching experience in Europe and in the United States.
Amoresano discussed the benefits soccer can have for children.
“There are a lot of good sports but I think soccer is great because it doesn’t matter if you’re tall, fast, slow,” he said. “The best player in the world is about 5’5”. It’s very active. You are always involved and running, which is very healthy for kids, so it’s good for both boys and girls. It’s more skill than strength. We think it’s great.”
The students started training at a local school indoors during the winter. The plan to go to two practices a week and games on the weekend.
“The response has been positive,” said Amoresano, who is also a father. “There are two big things I tell the parents. One is you need to feel comfortable with the coaches and what they’re attitude is and the program itself. The second thing that is very important is logistics. It’s one thing to say we have a game an hour away. But, it’s a big difference to go twice a week one hour away to take your kid to practice, so location means a lot.”
He stresses the importance of coaching.
“The program is mostly the coach,” he said. “You have to be able to talk to them and feel comfortable with them. Be sure how they interact with [your children] is something you feel comfortable with. Interactive with the parents is also important. We see this as three parts: parents, coaches and players.”
The program meets a local need, added Amoresano. “Our feeling is the demand is there and we see the location is good,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in soccer. They need something like this in this area.”
One of the things that separates Bay Ridge Soccer Club from other programs is its heavy use of technology.
“We use technology to communicate with the parents of the players,” he said, noting that among the information conveyed to parents via technology is “the kid’s number of touches, if they use the right or left leg. It helps them learn and allows you to get really objective feedback.”
That said, he stressed, “The number one rule is to have fun while learning.”
The organization is hoping to grow its roster, and aims to offer soccer in the neighborhood year-round. For those who are interested, Amoresano says the first session is free.
For more information, visit www.bayridgesc.com.