“Soccer Shots is our favorite by a mile”
“We’ve tried out a few different leagues, from the local recreation center to national groups, and Soccer Shots is our favorite by a mile. It is such a sweet and fun group that focuses on teamwork, confidence, and respect as well as real soccer skills. Picture lots of high fives and kiddos cheering for each other. The spirit is not overly rigorous or competitive, but they are truly playing: they are running, dribbling, shooting, and getting good exercise.
They start each day in a team huddle where the coach introduces a different word of the day such as Respect or Confidence, and a few new skills like dribbling or changing direction. Then they break out into teams and play little games, like “airplane arms” or “kick over the volcanos (cones)” to drive the concepts home. Next each kiddo gets to take a turn to run across the field and shoot the ball into an open goal, all while the other kids excitedly chant their name. Ben-nett Ben-nett. Ben-nett.
But the best part, and the real reason why we believe in team sports in our family, is how happy Bennett is after playing the game. He protects his stamped-hand during bath time and can’t wait to tell his Daddy all about “Coach G” and the “word of the day.” He is so proud of his achievement certificate and loves to demonstrate the new moves he learned. Sweet Graham is just in awe of his big bro out on the field, and he even gets to play a little before practice starts. And my reward? Bennett has sacked out each night this week and slept a solid twelve hours. Exercise does a body good!”
– Candace, Parent, Houston, TX
A Sense of Compassion
“As a mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, Soccer Shots not only brought physical activity to our family but a sense of compassion, team work, and responsibility, all which are core values we are working towards instilling in our children. I was very proud of my little player and his coach every week when I watched from the sideline.”
– Gina F., Parent, State College, PA
Improved Gross Motor Skills
“Just wanted to drop a note and thank you for having Soccer Shots at Lakeside this spring. My daughter has well developed fine motor skills. However, her gross motor skills are not where they should be. She is very timid about her body and doesn’t even like to jump with both feet off the floor. While we (my husband and myself) are pretty sure why her gross motor skills are so lacking, we are having her tested to confirm.
Meanwhile, we have seen a great advancement in her running, balance and overall physical confidence (she now will join in roughhousing with her cousins), since participating in Soccer Shots! It gives us some measure of hope that she will be able to overcome her issues. So again, thank you!”
– Beverly W., Parent, Lancaster, PA
Reaching and Connecting With Children
“The first time attending a Soccer Shots class can be a little intimidating for any child, and for this particular little girl, it seemed to be overwhelming. At the first Soccer Shots class, the teacher informed me that she would not be likely to participate. After hearing this, I made a personal goal for myself that I would attempt to reach her even if just for a moment of the class.
During the first class I made effort to connect with her and place the ball at her feet so she could join if she felt comfortable. When it was time to score a goal, the class was so excited and she really wanted to participate. She stood by the goal and kicked the ball back out for each child. Then it was her turn. The class clapped and cheered as she kicked the ball into the net. It was a great achievement for the day, but the smile and high five that followed brought an even bigger joy.
After the class the teacher was very impressed and thought it was amazing that she participated and enjoyed the class. It was great to hear this feedback, but this class was just the start and I had a strong motivation to make Soccer Shots a fulfilling experience for this little girl.”
– Soccer Shots Coach
“I cannot thank you enough”
“When Nora started playing soccer she would hang on the goal net. The first time she went to Soccer Shots she cried when she fell on the ground because it was dirty. Now she feels ready to play with the older kids and she’s not intimidated by playing soccer with all the boys.
I have had a fabulous time watching Nora play soccer. She has learned about sportsmanship. She has adjusted to meeting new coaches and new friends. I think Soccer Shots has had a strong positive impact on Nora and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for my daughter.”
– Hilary S., Parent, Houston, TX
pathway into sports
As you know, this spring my son participated in Soccer Shots at Shadyside Academy. When we signed him up for your program, he had almost no experience (or interest) in the sport. However, he willingly started your program and over the last few months has grown to enjoy the sport.
Since starting, he has become an avid player of soccer. He comes home after school and kicks the ball in the backyard with his brother and me. Also, he describes his time in the program affectionately. Clearly, his interest and his skills have blossomed.
As a former collegiate (and now “adult”) athlete, thank you for providing a pathway into sports for my son. I feel he is a kinesthetic learner and one who has a great deal of energy. Soccer appears to be one way to express his physical abilities.
– Brian H., Parent, Pittsburgh, PA
“Go Home” Shirt
Quick story to share about our little Miss Grace –
Yesterday, she was admitted to the Children’s Hospital for observation. But today, thankfully she was discharged completely fine.
When she saw her “go home” shirt (grey adidas jersey) – she couldn’t get out of the hospital gown fast enough. She told everyone at the hospital that she played soccer and asked them if they played too!
Thumbs up to being discharged. We’re so excited to start Soccer Shots again next month!
– Tennile N., Parent
Great First Soccer Experience
I just wanted to send in a quick note thanking Soccer Shots and Coach Elliot for providing a great first soccer experience for our son, Seve, at Laurelhurst Park. My mom has been taking him, but my husband and I finally made it to his last session today and it was worth every second. He’s still learning, but he was so proud and had so much fun. Coach Elliot is a perfect coach for the munchkins in my humble opinion—keeps it light-hearted and fun while teaching them some basics. Thank you all!!
– Julie, mom in SE Portland
Prior to Soccer Shots, my son enjoyed learning and playing soccer at home with my husband. His spark of interest led us to search for classes and we are very happy we found Soccer Shots and Coach Greg!
For the first two to three classes, our son watched on the sidelines, yet would come home excited about what his coach taught in that particular class. From the beginning, to the end of the 8 week of classes, there was an obvious growth in response in participation from our son. We believe his response was solely because of his coach. Coach Greg’s passion for teaching children and communicating the building blocks of teamwork were impeccable. He was direct, funny, full of energy and most importantly, FUN! Our son’s passion for the game, teamwork and interest for soccer, heightened in the environment Coach Greg created. My husband and I are so thankful for this positive experience and look forward to our son’s next round of classes.
– Olivia R., Parent, Austin, TX
Send us your Story of Impact
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