Lately there has been a lot of controversy in the news about kids starting competitive sports too young. The NY Times, Time Warner Magazine and now the Today Show have all showed segments featuring sports programs for young kids and there have been many perspectives provided from Doctors, Parents, Program Developers etc.
The main thing that they are missing is that while yes Lil Kickers is a Soccer Program, it is mainly a child development program that focuses on listening skills, social skills, teamwork, sharing, social development and much more. The classes are loosely structured to provide the children with the tools that they need to have a good time but we are not strict with the youngest groups in enforcing that they need to be paying attention or following along 100% of the time.
With the younger children we do not focus on skill development, passing, shooting, trapping etc. Those are skills that they can build later in life when their bodies are ready for that. We are providing kids and parents with a way to interact with other children and parents while providing exercise for their child in a nurturing environment. We hire instructors that have experience working with young children and many of whom are child development majors at the local universities. We do not focus on hiring soccer coaches or players as they often do not understand how to communicate appropriately with young children and their focus isn’t often on what is best for the child.
Lil Kickers is a non competitive program and even in our Micro Leagues we do not keep score, have goalies or encourage one team to beat another. We encourage teamwork and safe and fair play. We strongly agree that kids should not be forced into sports at a young age and that is why our program is there to encourage each individual and to let them develop at their own pace.
If you have never seen or tried out the Lil Kickers Program we would love to have you come in and watch a class or sign up for a free trial to see if the program is something that you and your child would enjoy. We are just interested in keeping kids moving and healthy! Here is to a Happy and Healthy 2011!