Rainout Line
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Kickers meet each Saturday during the seven week season on Field 1 from 10-11am. SKV trainers will meet you at the field. Please bring a water bottle, a size 3 ball, and all players must wear shin guards.

 
 

When your player is 3 years old, they are beginning to be interested in playing a sport that can see on the playground, at a nearby school field, on TV or maybe they have siblings or friends that play. Soccer is an excellent beginning sport because it utilizes the largest muscle group (the legs). Kids love to run, and soccer is all about running. The hard part is adding a ball to running and learning to stay upright when running (or dribbling) with a soccer ball. How can kids learn to use a soccer ball when they are so litte?

We make Kickers fun for all players. The entire group is lead by a Head Coach who leads the group warm-up sessions with the Kickers. After the warm-up session the players are divided up into groups of 6-10 players. The groups rotate through "stations" led by SKV coaches where they players will do fun things (with some parent participation) like "Kick the soccer ball through your mom's or dad's legs" or "kick the ball through the hula hoop maze" ... It's a lot of fun to play our games and what they don't realize is that they're learning soccer skills while they are playing! And, parents a learning too, so it teaches parents some things they can do with their players at home! Small soccer goals are used with the Kickers.

Team concepts are approached, but don't hold your breath that anything resembling soccer will appear. At 3 years old, kids play "at" soccer, they won't work together to play soccer. And that's OK! They can still score goals, they can fly like airplanes afterwards in celebration, and they can high-five the nearest outstretched palm. That's the fun part of soccer, isn't it?

Frequently Asked Questions about the 3 Year-Old "Kickers" Program

Q: What will we do?
A: We will show the kids how to play with a soccer ball.

Q: My kid already plays with a ball. What's so different?
A: We're using a soccer ball, and so we want to play with specific goals in mind. You'll learn to recognize when your child is performing a soccer maneuver versus a directionless kick, and which one to readily praise.

Q: Sounds like work. How do you measure progress?
A: With the smiles that we see each Saturday, it can hardly be called work! If each player has a smile and is having fun with their coach, that's success. We also want each player to strive to perform passes and dribbling correctly, but we'll gladly accept big kicks and theatrical falling if the player really wants to show off those skills.

Q: But my kid just might stand there and not participate. What do we do then?
A: They are 3 year olds, and as long as we keep that in mind, they are doing exactly what they should be doing. Some players are daredevils, the first to volunteer, the first to fall down and get dirty. Others need to watch a little bit in order to feel comfortable. We'll certainly help you coax your player out of his or her shell, but it's really up to them. Your job is to get them to the fields and give it a try. Don't worry - nearly every child out there has a soccer player in them and will start participating within the first couple weeks.

Q: But you don't understand - every time a bird flies by, he/she gets excited and forgets what ever else he/she is doing.
A: Exactly what all our children did and still do. If we see a plane overhead, we fly like airplanes, just like a lot of professional soccer players when they score a goal. We like looking at birds and planes as much as the next kid. Let's run and act goofy, and doing it at the soccer fields is as good a place as any!

Q: How can you expect to control a group of kids at one time?
A: We designate one of the SKV coaches as the Head coach who will start to run the large group sessions to warm up and get ready for the session. Thereafter, the group is split into smaller groups of 6-10 kids for activities that require more individual attention. The Head Coach may ask for assistance from you - the parent/guardian - to help with the small group sessions. Big brothers and sisters can also provide excellent support, however an SKV coaches will be with each group to lead them.

Q: Will my child learn real soccer? I heard that this is just play time.
A: Of course they won't learn real soccer! Very few children have the "big picture" skills necessary to play soccer. Up through U-8, we consider the kids to be playing "at" soccer. Here are some examples of activities Kickers will do during their sessions: 1) warming up activities and fun exercises without the ball, 2) some basics soccer activities such as kicking and stopping the ball, and 3) dribbling with the ball from goal to goal. Each player will have their own ball - trying to score on MOM or DAD. At this age passing and playing together is not what the young kicker wants to do. They also play ball games like green light/red light, sharks and minnows, and others. Many brief water breaks will give the "Kickers" plenty of opportunities to rest and socialize with their parents/guardians or fellow "Kickers."

Q: If you could summarize what our soccer experience should be, what would you say?
A:
Well, that's very nice of you to ask! Soccer should be like a day at the park. Bring your cooler filled with sandwiches, snacks and drinks, a blanket or chairs to sit on, a small juggler or trainer ball to kick around on the sideline, and some sunscreen. Watch and cheer for the players. All kids need to hear praise for their accomplishments, and hearing it from "strangers" doubles its effectiveness. Don't praise the errant big kick, but make sure to "ooh" and "aah" when the player tries to effectively dribble or makes a beautiful pass to the open space (even when it wasn't intentional!). Have lots of conversations with the other spectators around you - it's a great time to enjoy each other's company.

There is no deadline or late fee for Kickers registration.

Each player will receive a soccer t-shirt.