Jul. 14—For 20 plus years now, Bobby Brockman has run his yearly summer camp for the future of soccer at Glynn Academy.
Being the head coach of the Glynn Academy boys soccer team for 28 years, Brockman was able to accomplish the feat of 400 wins and a return to the Elite Eight after an undefeated regular season with his Terrors team.
Before focusing on the upcoming 2023 season with his team, first Brockman goes back to the basics.
"It's my favorite week of the year," Brockman said of his camp. "Just love working with younger players and a lot of these guys, probably 95 percent of them, will be playing at Glynn Academy for me one day. That's just awesome to remember them back when they were seven years old coming to camp. I have coaches, some of them were coming when they were 7 and then stopped coming when they got to high school because I can't do a camp for them. They come back, and they are coaches for me which is great."
At the Glynn Middle School field surrounded by the Adam Wainwright complex, Brockman holds his camp with the age ranges spanning from elementary to eigthgrade, 80 campers roam the field with soccer jerseys on to display their love for the game while learning from one of the best.
"I've been doing it a long time, over 20 years," Brockman said. "We have just two basic ideas. One is to have fun and the second one is to get better. It's about as simple as that."
During the opening minutes of the second day of Brockman's camp, groups of six were formed with three on each side doing a warm-up session of two touch. The intention is to control the pass with your first touch and then pass it to the other side with the second.
After spending a few minutes working on two touch, some campers progressed to one touch to show progression.
Brockman roamed the field and could be heard telling his campers, "Don't smash it, smooth rollers," in regards to the way the ball was being controlled and passed during the warmups.
Once warmups were done, Brockman kept the blood flow levels high with a game of tag. With three separate parts of the field broken into age groups, one side of the mini fields were the designated taggers. Brockman told everyone that they had to pair up and hold hands while chasing down their opponents.
Using some of his former players to demonstrate, Brockman's ideal goal was to keep the taggers' heads on a swivel to look around and determine which way to attack or cut off corners on other runners.
"It's great because they know a lot of the drills," Brockman said of current and former players helping coach his camp. "We do the drills to get them better technically and build a good foundation. We then play fun games cause all the kids love games. It's 4-v-4 or it's indoor (which is 5-on-5). Indoor is awesome because it's one of the biggest hits. All my coaches that I have hired in the past have been campers at one point in time in their life, and they know how the camp is supposed to run, and it's been running the same way for 20 years."
After a quick water break, Brockman told everyone to break off into pairs and to grab one soccer ball.
For the next 30 minutes or so, campers worked on five different ball possession drills with demonstrations coming before every pairing worked on it together.
The five ball control drills were: toe up heel down 360 pass, step over halfway outside the foot, outside of the foot 360 toes up, scissor halfway through a 360 control, and finally looking over your shoulder before controlling the pass.
"I would say that the main thing for me is that they have a quality first touch on the ball," Brockman said. "If the first touch gets away from you, you are trying to play catch up. If you can get a great first touch on the ball, then you can lift your head and pass the ball or dribble the ball."
For the final two hours of the morning session, the middle and older campers played 4-on-4 games for 10 minute stretches, while the younger campers went inside the gymnasium to play Futsal and continue to work on their game.
Back outside, Brockman reminded his campers to stay hydrated during the off portion of their 4-on-4 games as he rotated between the older and younger groups.
Spending a good hour or so playing competitive games and determining what seeding they were given, Brockman brought groups over to tell them what seed they would be in when it came time to the knockout stages.
After hearing their seeds, some groups were going over formations and game plans to set their optimism high for a possible run to the championship.
Walking around and watching the campers play, some teams won by the use of their communication skills to push to the very end while being knackered.
Playing semifinal games before going off for a lunch break the final four teams dueled it out with beautiful play, strong challenges and golden goal moments to bring Brockman and others glued to the contests.
Battling the sweltering heat and having played for two plus hours, the teams that were lined up for the championship for both the older and younger age groups were content with waiting until after lunch to battle it out for the prize.