Wake Forest University
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We sent Wake Forest Head Coach Jay Vidovich a list of questions about his elite soccer camp. Recently, EXACT Sports has joined forces with Vidovich and his assistant, Ryan Martin. EXACT’s role in the camp is to help the players mentally focus on the game of soccer and be prepared to play  their best over a highly competitive weekend.  There are questionnaires to see how coachable a player is and their attitude towards themselves and their abilities or even their  personality traits–all of which are intangibles that may not be spotted on the pitch. Here are the questions we asked Coach Vidovich and how he responded:

EXACT:  What are some of the things that happen at a typical day of camp?
Vidovich: “The camp schedule varies. The bottom line is to immerse the kids in soccer.  We have several sessions that will help them with technique and activate their brains, and hopefully instill a passion for soccer in them. We do at least two instruction sessions and then competitive matches, including barefoot soccer. We’re excited about introducing EXACT Sports and their mental testing and mental conditioning. It will help us measure mental qualities and it will help us carry that onto to the field.”

E:  What do coaches like yourself, look for when recruiting talent? How do you spot that at camp?
V: “I look for someone who can have success at wake forest. One of the biggest things is the intangibles. Their competitiveness, their commitment, their discipline, and their coach-ability. It is easier in a camp setting because you are spending 24 hours a day with these kids. You have an opportunity to interact with them on and off the field.  We see them in sessions and their training. We see if they ask questions to make themselves better, and how they take care of themselves on and off the field and if there is a passion for the game. It’s a great environment to see if they can play.”

E: Tell me about the instructors involved in your camp? Where are they from?  How do they support you and your goals?
V:“I think we get quality people. We get coaches on all levels. We get people from the MLS, the US Soccer Federation, other universities, and all the way down to the youth level. It’s good that we are getting people who are experts in each age group and trained . The staff is really a wide variety of people covering different age groups and different areas. They are all soccer players and they all come to Wake Forest because they want to be a part of  the way we do things.  My full staff will be on field to develop talent in the area and develop the game in the US.”

E:  How does your team mentally prepare during the season? On the camp “field”, how do you help foster mental development?
V:  “We identify specific traits in the players. Our preparation fosters confidence and we put our players in mentally demanding positions.”

Additional Comments from Coach Vidovich: “With the success of the program, campers come in from all over the US and overseas. We have several from Europe and South America and quite a few from S Korea and Japan. They put themselves in a camp with people from all over the world and get them quality coaching from our staff.”

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