Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence for U8 Players

This program is open only to U7 and U8 players born between 8/01/2007 and 7/31/2009 who have already registered for the Spring 2016 season. Deadline for registration is April 3.


The Center of Excellence is a six-week curriculum developed by the Colorado Rapids staff to promote ball mastery and fast and proficient footwork. Skills are performed repetitively so each player becomes familiar with the ball. This course will also help to develop confident and controlled players under high-pressure conditions as they get more and more comfortable with the ball and the skills being taught. 


  • Each session will be 60 minutes long.
  • Each session will have 4 segments: 1. Ball mastery; 2. Individual technique 1; 3. Individual technique 2; 4. Small-sided game.
  • All players should be learning and trying the skills being taught. We want to do this in a fun environment with lots of opportunity to try moves out and be creative with the ball.
  • The focus of this program is about the individual. No team tactics will be talked about because the program is designed to improve the skills of the individual player.
  • Session time line:
    • Ball mastery (15 minutes);
    • Individual technique 1 (15 minutes);
    • Individual technique 2 (15 minutes); and
    • Small-sided game (15 minutes).

Center of Excellence Coordinator

Coach Sarah Sharp is a longtime soccer player who played college soccer at Pacific Lutheran University under Colleen Hacker, who went on to be the sports psychologist for the US Women's National Team. Among her many contributions and accomplishments, Coach Sharp is a USSF C license coach and has worked at some of the top clubs in the country, including SC Del Sol in Phoenix, Arizona. During her time with SC Del Sol, Coach Sharp developed teams from U8 to U18 and had the opportunity to coach players up into some of the top level D1 programs in the country. Her experience and expertise in developing players is welcomed, and the recreational program is pleased to have her come aboard this season. Coach Sharp has accepted the position to coach the Center of Excellence for the Black Hills Rapids Soccer Club and she will be tasked with training and guiding the club's young talent.


Sessions will be Monday nights starting April 11 from 5:30pm-–6:30pm at the Omaha Fields. The curriculum runs for 6 weeks, and the last session on Monday, May 16.

Cost and Availability

The individual cost to participate in the Center of Excellence is $80 per person. Space will be limited so make sure to sign up early.

To register for the Center of Excellence, login to your Black Hills Rapids account, where you should see that a new program is available for your U8 player. If you need assistance accessing your account, please email