The global pandemic may have halted everything except the drive for success in two of KickDeck’s youth athletes. UVU Training’s founder, Skylar Thomas, sat down for a short conversation via Zoom with the two dedicated soccer trainees that have had immense growth in the past year: Harper and Oscar.
Harper, a 9-year-old talent from the Greater Toronto Area, fell into the arms of KickDeck accidentally. At the height of the pandemic, her parents searched for something to keep her active during the long months indoors. Upon discovering the company, they were highly impressed with the quality and professional nature of the programs. Providing a holistic approach rather than a straightforward technical one, it wasn’t about teaching kids how to be the best soccer player but how to be a better person.
“It was a pleasant surprise because it was not what we expected. The program showed that there’s much more to becoming a soccer player than running, kicking, chasing, and scoring. It did great at offering the balance that young athletes need if they’re going on this journey,” said Harper’s father, Troy.
Harper currently plays for her hometown team in Pickering, Ontario, reminiscent of Skylar’s path at a younger age. With the assistance of his training alongside proactive use of the KickDeck, she’s witnessed her transformation in her ability to perform a couple of hundred keep-ups, which has astonishingly increased from a mere seven in the last year.
Surrounded by a supportive network of parents, coaches, and a great team, Harper, continues to commit to improving her game and strengthening her performance. Knowing the importance of setting goals, Harper’s aspires to accomplish three objectives:
- Achieve 1000 keep-ups
- Get a scholarship to a post-secondary institution in the United States
- Become a professional soccer player and play for Canada’s Women’s National Team
Oscar, an 11-year-old extraordinaire from Malaysia, is no stranger to KickDeck; his talents have earned him a brand ambassador title. He was also nominated as player of the month in July 2020. His love for the game is mighty; you’d never imagine it began three years ago after playing a soccer video game. Once expressing his interest in the sport, he was soon placed on his school’s senior team. He realized his potential after being invited to play at a tournament in Vietnam and scoring a goal, solidifying his decision in wanting to pursue soccer full-time.
Due to COVID-19 cases rising in Malaysia, Oscar was forced to resort to at-home training. However, it isn’t an ideal circumstance; his motivation to advance his skills triumphs over the desire for in-person team training.
“I think training is better on the field, but online is better than nothing,” said Oscar.
As one of the shorter team members, Oscar compensates by using KickDeck to develop his endurance and agility further. Through his active use of the training cards, he has learned better ball control and improved his juggling.
“KickDeck has helped me a lot, and I like using it. It’s easy for me because I don’t have to think of a way to train. I don’t have to take videos on the internet because I can take a card from any four categories,” Oscar said.
Oscar is currently playing for Mota Academy, a league that could be a gateway for him to play on the Malaysia national football team someday. With a daily routine of training for at least 10 minutes within every hour, Oscar exemplifies his devotion to the sport and aims toward two goals:
- Strengthening his ability to run faster than his teammates
- Professionally play internationally and become the first Malaysian to play in the Premier League
Together, whether here or across the world, youth athletes can take pride in developing their skills through remote training by using KickDeck. A unique way to keep training fresh and fun, it provides individuals like Harper and Oscar with challenges to build confidence and push their limits while staying active amid these unprecedented times.