In the summer of 2011, over 6000 children participated in a Red Bulls soccer camp. As an added attraction to the unrivaled learning environment these camps provide, each and every participant on camp is given the opportunity to complete the Red Bulls Skills Challenges.
These challenges comprise a range of six carefully constructed activities, designed to measure a player’s competency at the game’s most fundamental techniques. For many players, they provide one of the most exciting and motivating experiences of their summer, and crucially, a bench mark from which to monitor their skill progression.
After the mass of data was eventually tallied, logged, and analyzed, complete with the top-scoring players subsequently identified, 50 talented youth soccer players united to compete in the 2011 skills challenge grand finale. These players, representing the top scoring individuals in each calendar year from 1997 to 2003 (or an age range of U8 to U14), battled it out for the title of Red Bull Skills Challenge Champion.
The grand finale, held at Peddie High School, Hightstown, NJ, produced some record scores for the year. All age group winners demonstrated increased confidence, efficiency, and better production than in testing earlier in the year. A first glance of the speed of play, level of understanding, and organization in self-evaluation gave clear confirmation that players had been using the free on-line training tools to revise the structure of the tests and practice in preparation for the final test.
Youth soccer players looking to get a jump on the competition for next year should check out the skills challenges at www.redbullsacademy.com. Skills challenges are conducted at all Red Bulls summer camps and the 2012 camp schedule will be posted around February next year.
Congratulations to the 2011 champions: Dillon Bardhi (2003), Bobby Hunter (2002), Logan McGraw (2001), Jessica Schildkraut (2000), Nathanial Charendorf (1999), Louis Reale (1998), and Johnny Del Sordi (1997).