A community-minded knack for giving back

“Coaching was always an interest of mine because I played the game for many years and I wanted to help out and give back,” said Perry Kirstein. “I find it important to give back to kids, I want to give back what I was able to learn and most importantly teach them good sportsmanship.”

Without Perry Kirstein, the U12 Dorval Boys soccer club doesn’t exist.

He’s been coaching the team for the last four years because of his love of the game and the fact that finding volunteers is extremely challenging.

“Coaching was always an interest of mine because I played the game for many years and I wanted to help out and give back,” said Kirstein. “I find it important to give back to kids, I want to give back what I was able to learn and most importantly teach them good sportsmanship.”

The 30-year-old originally from DDO is married but doesn’t have children of his own. He still commits a lot of his free time to giving back to the community. Kirstein just wants to help teach the game of soccer and ensure that kids learn skills and knowledge that he believes translate to all facets of life.

“A lot of kids think they know the game and they want to do everything on their own but I preach working as a team,” said Kirstein. “You have to lean on your teammates for support and I want them working together to try to win, not individualistic.”

The age range Kirstein coaches is 9 to 12 years old. This is a critical age bracket because many of the kids are learning the complexities of the game for the first time.

Coaching that age group also comes with its fair share of obstacles. Not only do you have to deal with kids who tend to have short attention spans but also with parents who have different personalities and agendas.

On the field, Kirstein believes that the most team success he’s achieved was last year’s team that made the playoffs despite dealing with many obstacles like often missing players.

This year the U12 Dorval team is off to 0-1-2 start. Kirstein is hopeful that they’ll be able to overcome early season jitters and grow as a team in the next couple of months.

“If they put their mind to it we can go far,” said Kirstein. “We just have to work as a team to get there.”

With his tutelage, they seem to be in good hands.

“I’ll coach as long as I can do it,” said Kirstein. “I want to keep doing it because I enjoy it, I want kids to have the opportunity to play and learn the game like I did when I was a kid.”

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