Soccer for Toddlers

I signed my 22-month old son up for soccer sessions with Lil Strikers. The class we joined is for 18 months to 2 years, but they do have classes for kids up to the age of 9.

For his age, my main goal was for him to get some exercise and release some energy so we can go home and enjoy a good, long nap. I don’t expect him to learn any soccer skills but it’s likely he’ll learn a thing or two, even if it’s just learning that the ball goes into the net.

My soccer knowledge is very limited, but from the looks of it, the classes are structured in such a way that their activities do translate to skills that can be applied to a game of soccer.

It’s actually really cute to watch. For the first half of the 10-week session, here’s what they do during the 50 minutes:

  • Stretching
  • Stepping on the ball – The tots are asked to step on the ball, one foot at a time (with the help of the parent for balance). I assume this is for trapping.
  • Jumping over the ball – None of the tots can do this on their own, so they’re all swung over the ball by their parents. Jarvis loves it.
  • Running – “Red Light/Green Light” “and Freeze” games
  • Throwing and kicking the ball – Throwing would be used for throw-ins, I’m guessing; and the kicking is obvious. Jarvis much prefers kicking over throwing. And I may be a bit biased, but I think he’s a pretty coordinated kicker :)
  • Tower building – Yes, the tots build towers with mini pylons. How is this useful? They’re supposed to kick it down when they have it built. It’s a kicking exercise. This one is entertaining to watch because you can watch their creativity.
  • Obstacle course – There’s a tunnel, hoops and a net. Most of the time, the kids just go back and forth in the tunnel, but the idea is to get through all the obstacles and kick the ball into the net. Fun times.

Once all that’s done, they’re all given stickers. I love this because the sticker distracts my little guy almost long enough to get to the car without any struggle.

He’s had 3 classes so far and I can’t wait to see how he progresses. He’s at an age where he’s constantly observing and learning, so it’ll be interesting to see what he picks up next.