Programs & Benefits
Keeping Kids Active
As they get older, it can be a challenge for kids to get enough daily activity. This can be due to:
- increasing demands at school
- a feeling among some kids that they aren’t good at sports
- a lack of active role models
- busy working families
In spite of these barriers, parents can teach a love of physical activity and help kids fit it into their everyday lives. Doing so can set healthy patterns that will last into adulthood. Organized sports are a great way to keep kids interested, actively engaged, and teach them teamwork.
Benefits of Being Active
When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:
- strong muscles and bones
- healthy weight
- decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- better sleep
- a better outlook on life
Physically active kids also are more likely to be motivated, focused, and successful in school. And mastering physical skills builds confidence at every age.
Preschoolers: Preschoolers can’t understand complex rules and often lack the attention span, skills, and coordination needed to play sports. Instead of playing on a team, they can work on fundamental skills. Soccer contributes to the well-being of children by engaging them in the sport while teaching them basic movements. At this introductory level, the objective is to get moving and keep active. Our U4 & U5 programs start with 30 minutes of Skills & Drills, focusing on fundamental movement skills. Followed by a 30 minute mini-game.
Early school-age: Our FUNdamentals program U7 focuses on developing the ABC’s of movement: agility, balance, co-ordination and speed, as well as running, jumping, twisting, kicking, throwing and catching.
Small children are egocentric – playing with the ball is the most important objective. However, they now need to be introduced to co-operation between players. They gain understanding of the game through playing situations. This helps to build game intelligence and decision making.
No standings – jamboree format – EMPHASIS IS ON FUN!
Pre-teens: Pre-teens are starting to discover their likes and interests. Enjoy the fun of the game and are excited to go play. They are growing, maturing and developing better muscle/body control.
Players move from self-centered to self-critical, and they have a high stimulation level during basic skills training. For this age grouping it is an optimal window for trainability of speed, flexibility and skills. We work to develop environmental awareness and encourage decision making; simple combinations, marking and running into space.
Our U9 & U11 programs work to build a greater repertoire of soccer related movements; technical skills are developed in training and within the context of basic soccer games. We work to develop tactical environmental awareness and encouraging decision making; simple combinations marking and running into space.
Teens: Teens have many choices when it comes to being active — from school sports to after-school interests. It’s a good idea to have an exercise plan since it often has to be sandwiched between school and other commitments.
Do what you can to make it easy for your teen to exercise by providing transportation and the necessary gear or equipment (including proper workout/exercise clothes). In some cases, the right clothes and shoes might help a shy teen feel comfortable biking or going to the gym.
As children mature we work to focus on flexibility, disciplined warm-up and cool-down, agility, aerobic and anerobic endurance, strength, core strength and stability, balance, nutrition, and proper diet (pre-game, post-game, tournaments), prevention and care of injuries, importance of rest/recovery. Personalized programs needed in order to respect the growth spurt. We are able to introduce more advanced techniques to each individuals skill level; technical acquisition in a more complex environment and position-specific skills.