Building Confidence at Power Soccer
May 19, 2017 by Camp Pages

Camp Q&A: Liam Power, director at Power Soccer

Q: How long have you been the director of Power Soccer?

I’ve been the director since 1996. I own the company, so about 20 years.

Q: What is your favourite part of your job?

I enjoy working in sports and I enjoy working in soccer because I went to soccer schools and soccer camps. Soccer used to be a hobby for me and a sport I played, so I was able to combine that into a career. So I enjoy being involved in work that I actually love.

Q: What kinds of qualities does it take to be a camp director/counsellor and lead children?

I think that patience is very important. I think enthusiasm is critical. We always look for that particular quality. Initiative is another one. We’re always very keen to find young coaches, young counsellors who have initiative. And obviously, a love for children, people who like to work with kids.

Q: How can parents choose the right camp for their child?

It’s a good idea for them to chat with their children, just to get the children’s perspective in terms of what they would like to do. Obviously, look at things that they enjoy and try to match up camps.

Q: How can children learn or benefit from a positive camp experience?

I think one of the big benefits for kids attending camp is building their confidence, getting away from their parents and a little outside their comfort zone so that they’re becoming more independent. The biggest benefit is probably social skills, dealing with other children, dealing with other adults, dealing with personalities and building those social skills that are critical in life going forward.

Q: How can you prevent exclusion at camp?

We work pretty hard at training our coaches. We have an internal training program where we mentor younger coaches and we go through a lot of basic guidelines in terms of working with groups, trying to figure out which kids might be isolated, identifying how bullying might occur, trying to be inclusive. [We] try to develop awareness in the coaches for being able to observe the group of kids and being able to see the ones that perhaps are not as dominant or not as outgoing and to try to involve them.

Q: In your 20 years, have you noticed any changes in the way kids and their families approach camp or have you had to alter the formula for how you run the camp?

There’s been a trend towards parents who are looking for shorter days. So, we offered a full day camp initially, but some parents just want to do half days and we try to accommodate that and build that into our program.

Q: Is there any camper or instance you remember that really exemplified the power and spirit of camp?

There have been a lot of children over the last few years who have come into the camp being socially awkward or problematic and that have attended a number of our programs and then we find that they’ve turned a corner. Sometimes it’s a 360 in terms of their interactions and behaviour with other children. That’s as rewarding as seeing a player develop greater skills in the sport of soccer.

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