Hundreds of area kids were the stars of the show last Saturday when the Red Bulls Skills Challenge came to Ridgewood. Players from various towns including Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Waldwick, Mahwah, and as far away as Princeton, descended onto the field at Ridgewood High School to put their soccer skills to the test.
The Red Bulls Academy offers the free Skills Challenge as a way for young players to measure their ability in passing, receiving, turning, dribbling and shooting. The kids’ favorite activity by far was shooting, as they blasted ball after ball into the net.
Trainers from the Red Bulls evaluated each player and gave them a scorecard. Players were encouraged to practice at home and continue testing themselves to try to improve their scores. No winners were announced but the top players in each age group will be invited to a regional final. The regional winners will be recognized at Red Bull Arena this fall.
Red Bulls trainers timed and evaluated each player at the various skills stations. Here, a player is being tested on shooting.
The Skills Challenge scorecard listed the players’ marks in each of the skill categories. Players can compare their scores to thousands of other players who have completed the Skills Challenge.
After the event, one player decided to try his luck in a game of one-on-one with one of the trainers. Guess who won?
Steve Jones presented scorecards to the kids and encouraged them to keep working on their skills at home. Players who attend the Red Bulls camp in Ridgewood this August will have the opportunity to be tested again.