Many young athletes experience burnout from their competitive year-round sports. However, one young player’s motivation never wavered. Fifteen-year-old Jayla Land found an outside training program, TOCA, to hone her technical skills while continuing to enjoy the sport she loves.
“My favorite thing about TOCA is the trainers’ enthusiasm and intensity during the training,” said aspiring collegiate student-athlete Jayla Land. “The number of touches I get on the ball has helped me become so comfortable with the ball.” For the past three years, TOCA has provided Jayla with an authentic soccer experience, one she never encountered in her soccer career. Jayla and her parents praise TOCA for its intense training, engaging fitness and positive vibe.
“My favorite part about TOCA for Jayla is how happy she is when she is there,” said Meesha Land, Jayla’s mother. “She plays soccer year-round, so to have such a positive atmosphere where she can do what she loves most, helps her from burning out. The songs and the trainers are always so upbeat.”
TOCA trainers instill confidence in Jayla through their high energy and skilled, positive instruction. She’s seen a dramatic improvement in her critical first touch and the overall development of her game.
Jayla has been drawn to the physical aspect of soccer. However, she didn’t always boast assertiveness as a player. Utilizing TOCA aids in her ability to be fearless in dribbling and taking on players. During each TOCA session, Jayla touches the ball approximately 500 times, and each time she sees a cleaner first touch. And with every precise touch, the aspiring professional feels her confidence elevate as she prepares for her next game on the pitch.
“She is a much more confident player overall,” Meesha said. “Her footwork, especially in tight spaces, is much stronger as much as her strikes and volleys. Her accuracy with the ball is also much better.”
Before training with TOCA, Jayla never trained or heard of TOCA’s small-ball methodology. Since her first session with the smaller ball in 2014, she has noticed the ease at playing with the bigger, regulation-size ball in a game.
TOCA’s customized smaller ball is lighter than a regular soccer ball lowering the physical impact. It also allows for more repetitions with a lower injury risk. When Jayla returned from injuries (broken foot, ankle sprain and two broken arms in the last three years), TOCA offered her a way to get touches without the contact providing a safer tool to recover and stronger return to play.
TOCA’s combination of game-like fitness and technical training on the ball has boosted Jayla’s decision making on the field as well. She’s forced to think more quickly by lifting her head up and placing the ball in one of the TOCA Bownet goals.
In the past, Jayla struggled with striking volleys due to the frustration of contacting the ball in the air. However, practicing volleys with TOCA helps her in the game as she’s now more focused and calm in volley situations.
Every time Jayla scores a volley in a game, she credits her success to TOCA. Every time her touch is clean, she thinks of TOCA. She anticipates her next session to continue striking volleys and master other technical skills necessary for an aspiring professional.
“It’s always a positive atmosphere; it’s always a great workout, and I come home happy about my session.” TOCA leaves Jayla wanting more.