Located in New Yorks Adirondack mountain region near Lake George, Golden Goal is a week-long event where teams live and dine in an Olympic style village atmosphere. During the week, they participate in training sessions, team-building activities and, of course, games.
Teams pay a flat fee and then all they have to do is show up. Golden Goal handles lodging, food, and scheduling and theres no need for transportation since everything is located in one complex.
There isnt anything quite like it, said Dominic Popolizio, a Sports Marketing Agent for United Sports Training Center, which partnered with Golden Goal in October of 2008. Its a very unique, one-of-a-kind experience. It allows a team to get away, play teams from around the country as well as international ones and it gives them the chance to really bond together. And you dont have worry about hotels, meals, transportation.
Teams come and have a team-building week, face great competition, get ready for fall season or the next upcoming season, and its a great family vacation area.
Golden Goal provides coaches and players six nights of lodging in dormitory-style buildings, similar to an Olympic village, with 24-hour security, plus three meals a day, a weekly guest appearance, a spectacular fireworks display and extravagant opening and closing ceremonies.
All teams, coaches, guest referees and families participate together in the opening ceremonies in what Popolizio says is every kids favorite part of the week.
The teams are all there and everybody gets marched in, which these 11- to 15-year-old boys and girls love, he said. You get to run right into the stadium, with your banner, all wearing jerseys. And with the parents and everyone all cheering, everyones name is announced. Skydivers come in and they bring the game ball, the Golden Goal flag, the American flag. Theres a ton of music, a big barbeque its a great experience. A lot of people will not have this experience in their lifetime.
While the thrill of participating in such an elaborate event is every kids dream, the coaches, while surely appreciating the event, have a different reason for signing their teams up for Golden Goal. For most of them its the team-building experience.
All the coaches mention the team-building exercises and the team-building coach we have at the park, Gary Pritchard, said Popolizio of the author best known for his work, 105 Great Stories. He talks about team-building and working together as a team and how an individual can either help or hurt a team by being an individual or by not being a team player. Every coach I talk to, when I mention Golden Goal, always mentions that we have Gary.
All teams that attend Golden Goal are guaranteed eight games six pool games and a semifinal and final regardless of finish and the competition level, while high, isnt only made for top teams. Popolizio said any competitive team can sign up and theyll be matched up with teams from other areas with the same skill set.
Were not looking at just the top few teams in the country, were looking at competitive teams in every state," he said. "You get eight games whether youre playing for first place, third place or fifth. The amount of teams that come, we have a great idea of how to match them up. Well make sure that theyre common opponents.
The Village of Lake George has beach activities, restaurants, shops and site-seeing tours of picturesque Lake George. Saratoga Springs, just 20 minutes away, is home to Saratoga racetrack, Saratoga Springs Arts Center and upscale shopping. Plus the best part is, youre there for the entire week, so theres plenty of time.
Teams talk about going away for the weekend, said Popolizio. Someone in the Northeast would say, Lets go down to Baltimore for a long weekend for a tournament. Then they spend three days there. It almost takes you that long to get there because of all the cities you go through, you have about four games in three days, no practice time and youre crammed in hotels the whole time.
Golden Goal is something that will get everyone away, all week long, and we take care of all the rest for them. I would recommend it to any soccer coach.
For more information about Golden Goal, visit their website at www.goldengoalsoccer.com. And if youre interested in havinging your tournament or soccer complex profiled, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.