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Athleta in-store clinic

On April 28, we hosted our first soccer clinic in partnership with Athleta Leawood. Athleta approached us in March about collaborating on an exclusive event to celebrate girl power. After thinking about it for a half-second, we were in! After all, empowering girls is the heart of what we do. The trick was, how do we convert a retail space into a temporary training pitch? After weeks of planning, we had a master plan (being type A, I'm all about planning).

The clinic was a huge success! We didn't know how many players to plan for, so our session plans had to be fluid. The team was well organized and prepared for any scenario. Our "best case" of having too many players was leveraging every square foot in the store available to us, if it came to that. Well, it did! With over 30 girls in attendance, we found ourselves fully utilizing the main store area as well as the dressing room area for ball work and dribbling challenges. Talk about creativity!

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Overall, the session was a blast. Afterwards, the girls enjoyed healthy snacks from Eat Fit Go and cookies from Pop Up Cookies, along with a private shopping experience. The store returned to "retail" form 10 minutes before it opened to the public. A couple balls were found hiding under garment racks...

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This is the store set-up when we arrived. All racks were moved to the side, which created enough space to fit 2 or 3 groups. Turns out we needed more, so we also used the dressing room area.

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Team chat before players arrived to make sure we were all ready for the girls. Coach Blair, Coach Rhian, and Coach Carrie took the leads on different age groups, and the rest of the team provided support.

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The first players started to arrive, and quite quickly, there was a line out the door for registration! Lots of smiles, lots of excitement!

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After registration, players went into the store and were greeted by the Finesse Soccer training staff.

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We quickly divided the players into 3 groups, by age. We typically aim for 1:1 player to ball, and this was especially true given the tight space that presented plentiful ball control opportunities.  One of the most effective ways to improve as a soccer player is to have a ball at your feet.

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Coach Carrie took the youngest group on an imaginary pirate adventure (while secretly teaching ball control).

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Coach Rhian and Coach Blair setup stations for dribbling and ball control. Here are Coach Rhian and Coach Melissa leading an activity on ball control and ball mastery. Lots of touches on the soccer ball!

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The girls also worked on dribbling under control, at speed.

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We ended the session with FINESSE ON THREE....1,2,3...FINESSE!

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While this is the first time we've ever run a soccer clinic inside a store, we run them outdoors year round!

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