U-4 to U6 Program
THE FIRST KICKS MAY WELL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT
A child’s first encounter with a soccer ball will almost certainly have a lifetime effect – positively or negatively.
The sheer joy of running and kicking a ball and then running and kicking that ball again will probably occur well before a child enters a formal soccer program. It may be in the backyard, at the park or on the beach with Mom or Dad or an elder brother or sister.
The next big soccer hurdle to be overcome is when a child enters their first “formal” soccer program. Mom and/or Dad will have signed them up – possibly, but not necessarily, at the urgings of the child.
These days more and more community soccer organizations are being encouraged – even pleaded with – to run programs for players U6, U5 – even U4.
It is particularly important that this first “team and club” experience is a good one. For starters, they may not know many if any, of the other children participating and this can be very intimidating for a young child.
We – parents, coaches, club executives – have a major responsibility on our hands. We must do everything we can to enthuse a child about the game – to develop a love of soccer – because if we do, it could well be “a game for life.”
One-with-One® is what it is – one child with a significant other person in their lives (Mom, Dad, Brother/Sister, Grandparents, etc.). A child’s first team-mate is someone they are totally at ease with.
It is our strong recommendation that community soccer organizations start with some version of our One-with-One® program and that the progression from One-with-One® is into a small-sided game format in an informal “Jamboree/Festival” environment, but it would be a mistake to get into small-sided play too quickly.