Last week we caught up with the Fleming family to get their perspective on the best way to stay in shape and keep busy at home while players and coaches anxiously wait to get back on the field. Jamie Fleming, the Shasta Varsity Girls Soccer coach and 04 Kaos Fury Boys coach, encouraged players to keep working hard, even though it is difficult while having to do so at home. Mia Fleming, who has committed to play soccer at Saint Martin’s University in the fall of 2020, says she has been working out in the garage with her brother and going to the field to kick the ball around a little bit. She is also able to meet up with friends in the driveway to combat challenges and keep busy. Braxton Fleming, a player on the Boys 04 Kaos Fury team, 05 ODP Cal North team, and the Shasta Varsity Boys Soccer team, has been hunting and fishing while away from the field.
Players like Mia and Braxton are used to a team sport, as Jamie puts it, so it is difficult for them to jump into a completely different lifestyle at home as they practice soccer without their teammates. Jamie says, “those that are working at home should definitely work on touches… their ability to move the ball, cup the ball, and get super comfortable with the ball at their foot.” She mentions that these are all activities that you can do on your own and definitely will pay off or translate in being able to keep possession in the game, once you are able to play games! Mia is doing her ball control drills in the garage and Braxton has been juggling balls around the house.
The family has hope that the new fields at the California Soccer Park will help improve the safety of players, quality of play and game viewing. Jamie says, “the new fields are going to have a huge impact and improvement for the players. Playing surface can definitely determine a lot in a game. Having such a new and true surface is going to improve that experience for everybody watching the game and playing the game.” Braxton brought up the important point that the new fields will stop bouncing balls from hitting uneven parts of the field and interrupting play. He also mentioned that “there will be a lot less turf burn,” which will decrease the risk of any infections that could come from these wounds.
This soccer family has made a tremendous impact in our soccer community with their extreme level of involvement throughout their many years of playing and coaching soccer.
Thank you, Jamie, for your advice on what players can be doing at home to prepare for future soccer seasons and congratulations, Mia, on graduating high school and your commitment to play soccer at Saint Martin’s University!
Braxton and Mia would like to give a special shout-out to their uncle, Dr. Matt Miles (head of Infectious diseases at both Dignity Health Redding and Shasta Regional), because, as Braxton puts it, “he has been a beast through this whole thing." They would also like to thank the educators for all the hard work and extra time they have been putting into making distance learning work during this difficult time.