Learning to be a leader — on and off the field

Posted by WYSC Administration on Sep 11 2016 at 04:02PM PDT in 2016-2017

Learning from the best: Former Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit (left) alongside former Canadian national team and German Bundesliga star Rob Friend who is originally from Kelowna.

To be a captain on the soccer field, there is a one essential ingredient a player must have — a desire to lead the team.
You have to want the role first and foremost, says former Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit; everything else flows from there.

DeMerit is taking kids with that passion and is honing their skills through his new Rise & Shine: Captains Camp, based in Pemberton. In this inaugural summer, he hosted 40 boys over two camps, including four members of the Whistler Youth Soccer Club (WYSC). The camps, spanning three days with overnight “glamping,” brought youth from as far away as North Carolina and Wisconsin to the bucolic Pemberton valley.

And the lessons learned there didn’t just apply on the soccer pitch.

“The more skills you have, the more chance you have of becoming a captain, whether that’s a captain of your team, your community, your business, it really doesn’t matter,” says DeMerit. “It’s being a well-rounded enough person that you can try to take that lead role.”

It’s something to think about as the season kicks off in Whistler this weekend — how can I be a leader on my team?
The answer to that lies at the heart of the core four pillars of the Rise and Shine camp. They apply to captains and teammates, boys and girls, both on and off the field.

They are:
• belief
• respect
• hard work
• positivity.

“Those four things are set in stone,” says DeMerit. “If you try to live within those four pillars, it’s amazing how far you can go.”

Check out to learn more.


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