KC soccer club creates new at-home training program to perfect players’ skills


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three local coaches from KC Legends Soccer Club have come up with a method to perfect players’ skills and make them better, even without the benefit of a traditional practice.

“If it’s difficult, it will increase engagement for a prolonged period of time,” coach Andrew Clifton said. “That’s been the traditional approach from a coronavirus, at-home workout perspective.”

But during quarantine time, to be proficient at any task, you can’t just do the norm.

“Legends MAESTRO is 100% at the forefront,” Clifton said. “It’s teaching skills you will use in the game. Something that enables them to do some deep thought, look inward and look to make it better.”

Instead of just running and juggling, KC Legends Soccer Club teaches what they call the MAESTRO system. 

“They have to perform it perfectly, slowly, in order to get their end,” said Andy Barney, KC Legends founder. For each letter in MAESTRO, they are rewarded like a belt system, they’re rewarded that letter.”

“Each skill, we train the hardest variation of that skill,” coach Felipe Abreu said. “That way if they can conquer the hardest version, they will be able to do the easier ones like a walk in the park.”

The skills are those of which some of best in the game, like Diego Maradona, Johan Cryuff and Ferenc Puskas, have perfected.

It sounds difficult, but these young athletes are getting help. 

“We can slow it down and tell them wear they went wrong and where they went right,” Clifton said. “When we coach kids in person, what we say has a limited impact. When we write 3-4 sentences, those 3-4 sentences wash over the kids.”

“We’re able to conquer almost all the ways that a person can learn,” Abreu said. 

And of course there’s another level to mastering these moves. 

“They’re competing. They want to get the letter before their teammates,” Abreu said. 

To make it even more challenging, they add LEGENDS, a sequence of combined moves from the MAESTRO system, then introduce speed to it.

So although team play might not be an option right now, this KC soccer club is finding a way to help kids grow and challenge themselves.

“The greatest players in world history are the dribblers, the goal scorers. If we’re going to add real value during COVID-19, we need to develop the best players on the team,” Barney said.

“If we are going to develop, through sport, brave creative leaders, then they have to be the one’s who are prepared to carry the team on their back. This is Patrick Mahomes territory.”

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