September is only a few weeks away, which means fall sports are slowing creeping up! But it isn’t just a time for pigskin practice and Monday night football. Fall is also the season when kids traditionally play soccer. San Diego is home to several beginning soccer schools designed for kids before they enter the competitive world of club sports. These five programs will get your kiddo on the field for some soccer fun and scoring goals in no time.
Photo credit: Supper Soccer Stars
Super Soccer Stars
What really sets this group apart is their low child-to-coach ratios, which allows coaches to provide individual attention and positive reinforcement to every player. For example, it’s only a 4:1 ratio for little kickers who are 2- and 3-years-old. Every coach has a background in soccer or early childhood education. For ages 2-4, each class follows and fun and educational theme to capture the young players’ attention and imagination. One week might be going to “soccer space” while the next might be to create a “soccer garden.” Supper Soccer Stars aims to use the sport to nurture, build self-confidence, and develop teamwork in every class.
Photo credit: Leah Singer
Kidz Love Soccer
Kids will not only develop a love of soccer, but they won’t be able to get enough of this program. The classes are focused on teaching kids about sportsmanship and developing the fundamentals of the game. Kidz Love Soccer starts with a Mommy/Daddy and Me class for 2- and 3-year-old players. From there, they offer pre-soccer and tot soccer. Starting at age 5, class sessions focus on techniques and teamwork, skills and scrimmages, and match play. Unlike other soccer programs, Kidz Love Soccer welcomes kids through age 12, making it a great option for kids who love to play the game, but haven’t joined the super-competitive world of club soccer.
Photo credit: Little Rascalz Soccer Facebook page
Little Rascalz Soccer
This soccer school has one of the largest offerings of soccer classes throughout San Diego County. Their focus is primarily toddlers (2 1/2 – 5 years), but they do offer classes for the veteran players (4 – 6 years) and advanced (6 – 7 years). The classes are designed to be fun, silly, and provide a high-energy experience for little ones. Kids learn to participate in a group, follow simple instructions, cooperate with peers, develop gross motor skills, and of course, burn off energy! For kiddos who aren’t quite comfortable leaving mom or dad behind, check out the Soccer & Mommy ‘n’ Me program too. If you have multiple players in the family, Little Rascalz offers a 30% sibling discount. They also give a 20% discount to military families.
Photo credit: Soccer Shots Facebook page
Little kickers ages 2 – 8 years are encouraged to learn about soccer with Soccer Shots with classes that meet weekly at daycare centers, schools, and parks throughout the city. What makes Soccer Shots unique is the staff and coaches they employ. Every class is taught by a collegiate-level soccer player who has been positively affected by soccer and want to change the world with their two feet. Their deep commitment to soccer led to a partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Together the two organizations raise funds and awareness for kids living in underserved communities throughout the country and cannot afford to otherwise play the sport. Soccer Shots offers free demo days where kids can try out a class for free before signing up. Check their website for a list of free offerings in your neighborhood.
Photo credit: SoccerKids Facebook page
These coaches offer classes to kids ages 2 1/2 – 7 years in the Carlsand and 4S Ranch communities all year long. What makes these classes unique is they are taught by the SoccerKids founder, Coach Jaime, who started the program in the San Francisco Bay Area. This means kiddos area learning from the person who designed the curriculum from scratch. Coach Jaime believes in fostering a positive atmosphere where having fun, trying your best, and good sportsmanship are way more important than winning a game. The final score of a SoccerKids game is always “Fun to Fun!” And the classes are affordable, running about $125 for an eight-week session.
Did we miss a soccer program in your neighborhood? Tell us where your kiddo plays and what you like about it in the comments below!
– Leah R. Singer