LIL’ KICKERS CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Lil’ Kickers is so much more than soccer. It’s about creating a special place for your child where they can learn in a supportive and non-competitive environment. It’s a place where they can come as they are and be accepted. It’s about coaching techniques that are child-friendly and focus on effort. It’s about a comprehensive soccer program that is just as effective as it is fun.
Lil’ Kickers is so effective because we take a child-centered approach to sports development. This means we place a heavy emphasis on child development theory and incorporate it into every aspect of the program. Knowing what children are trying to accomplish at each stage of childhood gives us a unique perspective. It gives us insight into behavior and in many cases allows us to understand how children think, learn and react to certain situations.
OPEN ENROLLMENT, YEAR ‘ROUND
Lil’ Kickers at Madison Indoor
The Lil’ Kickers program includes children 2-7 years of age.
There is a $10 fee per class.
A one year membership ($25.00) is required per child in addition to class fees.
Thumpers (parent & child) 50 minute class, Age: 2 years
Hoppers (Ages 3-4), Jack Rabbits (Ages 4-5), Big Feet (Ages 5-6) and Micro League (Ages 6-7) all being 50 minute classes.
Open enrollment with a prorated price from point of enrollment.
Lil’ Kickers classes are on a first come first served basis. To reserve a roster spot, please call (859) 625-1320 or email email@example.com
About Lil’ Kickers Programs
Lil’ Kickers is a one of kind, non-competitive soccer and movement skills program for children ages 18 months – 7 years. As a child development program, Lil’ Kickers uses the great game of soccer to teach kids to be successful in life. Kids can begin as toddlers learning how to kick and develop gross motor movements and end up as a school aged player with a strong set of soccer skills and an understanding of the team concept. Classes are designed for specific age groups and skill levels and work together to allowing children to easily progress through the program.
The Lil’ Kickers philosophy is centered on the 3 C approach developed by the founders of the program. The 3 C’s stand for Child-Centered, Non-Competitive, and Child-Centered.
Lil’ Kickers takes a child-centered approach to sports development. We look at the Lil’ Kickers experience primarily from the perspective of children and their parents. We consider the child’s developmental challenges and stages as the most crucial criteria for facilitating successful teaching and learning in Lil’ Kickers. We also focus on the parent’s role in the experience and educate parents about the psychology and dynamics of team sports and the coach-player relationship. Our approach helps children feel safe and supported so they will challenge themselves to grow and learn.
How is Lil’ Kickers Non-Competitive?
To answer this question, we must first admit that all sports are competitive and this aspect is inseparable from the learning process. Once a child has “learned” how to play a sport, the natural progression is to then test his or her personal and team abilities in a competitive contest (game). However, young players should be learning skills because the learning process is fun and exciting – not because learning skills helps win games.
The real answer to our question is that Lil’ Kickers instructors reward efforts, not outcomes. This is actually a complex process that takes hours of training and a significant amount of practice. The most easily understood example is a soccer goal. A child scores a goal (outcome) and everyone cheers (reward) . . . what about the hours of shooting practice that developed the scorer’s accuracy (effort). In Lil’ Kickers, people still cheer when goals are scored. We do not think rewarding outcomes is detrimental to players, but it does not create an environment where all players can feel successful. If we persist in only recognizing and rewarding outcomes, then those players who expend effort tirelessly with no obvious or outstanding outcome will lose interest in the sport. In Lil’ Kickers, we believe all players who “give their all” have succeeded in the spirit of sports and competition.
Another important point is that if rewards or attention are focused on outcomes, then we are not encouraging learning, we are encouraging performance. Learning is a process by which a child can progress from basic levels of skill and understanding into more complex levels. If we focus on the outcome of the learning process, then we take for granted the sweat and tears the process involves. In Lil’ Kickers we believe the process of learning is more important than the actual accomplishment. Consider this simple argument:
- All children can learn.
- Learning new skills requires effort.
- If a child’s effort is rewarded and treated as an accomplishment, he/she will continue to make efforts.
- In making efforts the child will succeed and acquire a new skill.
- In succeeding the child will progress.
Comprehensive Program for Success
The 3rd and final ingredient to the Lil’ Kickers recipe for success is that we do not narrow our focus on the sport of soccer. In Lil’ Kickers we don’t just teach soccer to kids, we use soccer as a tool to teach kids about life. In Lil’ Kickers classes not only do children get exercise, skill development and fun, they are learning important concepts that will help them deal with life: cooperation, sportsmanship, teamwork, listening skills, and respect for others.
This all sounds great, you might think, but how do we actually do it in the context of soccer? Well, without going into all sorts of boring, technical discussions about curriculum and scientific background, we are very creative. Lil’ Kickers instructors have a huge arsenal of fun activities, games and props to help children work through these important concepts. We have been able to combine sports, exercise, fun and behavioral and cognitive skill development into one Comprehensive child development program.
Lil’ Kickers Class Descriptions
Bunnies (18 – 24 Months) Parent & Child Classes
Bunnies classes are a fun introduction to the Lil’ Kickers program. Toddlers and parents explore basic soccer and movement skills together. Classes include parachute activities, bubbles, lots of goal scoring, and the famous cone towers!
Thumpers (2-3 Years) Parent & Child Classes
Parents and kids, lead by one of our instructors, play organized games together to develop listening skills, balance, ball skills and foot-eye coordination. Thumpers is the ideal next step for Bunnies veterans who are not yet old enough for the Hoppers level, and a perfect introduction to Lil’ Kickers for new players who are just barely 3 years old.
Hoppers (3 & 4 Years) Beginning
Three and four year-olds get a fast-paced, fun exposure to the most popular sport in the world. Classes focus on foot-eye coordination, dribbling, scoring and balance. Hoppers classes will also introduce the concepts of teamwork and cooperation. Hoppers will not play any competitive soccer games.
Jackrabbits (3 & 4 Years) Intermediate
Jackrabbits is a class designed for three and four year-olds who have either taken a session of Hoppers or have other soccer experience. Jackrabbits classes will focus on more complex ball skills (trapping and passing). Some small-sided soccer games will be introduced.
Big Feet (5 & 6 years) Beginning
Big Feet classes are for five and six year-olds who have not played soccer before. These classes concentrate on giving beginning kids a set of basic soccer skills (dribbling, passing, trapping, scoring) and some confidence on the field of play. Kids will be introduced to the ideas of sportsmanship and team play. Kids will play some small-sided soccer games and be encouraged to progress into Micro Leagues.
Micro Leagues (5 – 7 Years)
Micro Leagues are non-competitive, developmental leagues for kids 5-7 years designed to enhance individual and team skills, with an emphasis on fun and safety. Micro Leagues are for kids who have played soccer before either in Lil’ Kickers or another program. In 50 minutes of class there will be 15-20 min. of instruction and 20-25 min. of games.
Children in these classes will be introduced to more complex soccer tactics and skills. Our curriculum is designed to introduce players to the finer aspects of the game of soccer, including team concepts and individual skills. Classes are fun, non-competitive, and taught by experienced instructors.
Lil’ Kickers Birthday Parties
Celebrating a birthday or milestone? Have a Lil’ Kicker Party at Madison Indoor. The Lil’ Kicker Bunny can make an appearance at the celebration for an additional $25.00. Call for availability and to reserve your Lil’ Kicker Party today at (859) 625-1320. For more information about pricing, party details, and other birthday party packages such as our Extreme Party Packages with the giant slide inflatable fun click here.