Curriculum is King
Coach Steve began Locker Soccer Academy after a full year of research while working with several Child Development professors from Ohio State and a carefully selected group of advisors.With Steve’s 40+ years of experience at all levels of the game, an incredibly dynamic curriculum was developed. While children thrive in an environment that maintains a routine approach, they also flourish with variety. Every tiny detail of our programming has a purpose in our effort to provide an experience that is unequaled by any other child activity.
Our Little Kickers program provides the foundation on which LSA has developed its incredibly positive brand in Central Ohio.
Our 2 year old class is designed as an entry level program for young children to begin to learn the social skills and psychomotor skills with the help of their parents while on the field. It is a 30 minute class. I always tell parents not to “sweat” the fact that their child is not demonstrating perfect listening skills. They rarely do. Instead, we focus on the fact that we can get them running and smiling. It’s incredible to watch them grow from week-to-week with all aspects of their engagement. Their confidence really begins to take hold and from there it is amazing to watch their progression. It is our excellent curriculum (created by Child Development professionals) that helps them progress so incredibly.
In our 3 year old classes, this is usually the first time that a child is on their own in a group setting. It does not always proceed as smoothly as we parents wish. It can take some time for children to be comfortable with separation, but with over 45,000 children as experience, we have a pretty good track record of success. We are not opposed to having parents come onto the field to help, but we do like to connect as early as possible with the children and help them overcome this anxiety. Intentionally, we do balloon juggling in our first week of the session, as most children get very excited by the balloons and are more willing to forget about their anxiety. Once they get hooked, amazing things begin to happen. Just seeing the confidence in children in both a social environment and an athletic scenario is really cool.
Ages 4 – 5
While most community recreational programs engage in the “race to competition” by forcing children into games with one ball, we follow the more logical progression of having fun first, with at least one ball for every child at all times. We have seen far too many 6 year old ex-soccer players to force them into competitive play. We engage in many fun activities that have a competitive element to them, while at the same time ensuring that kids are running, kicking, laughing and sweating. When your child does go to the recreational league, it’s really incredible to watch just how much more confident they are than the other children.
Ages 5 – 6
This is an age group where we see many different levels of understanding about the competitiveness of sports. Each class takes on its own personality based on the level of the children in that class. No class is the same. Our focus in this class is to maintain the fun element that we are known for, while also gently introducing more competition. Skill development starts to really take shape, and the kids are showing incredible athletic movement, balance, motor skills and spatial awareness. (We have another program for this age group called the Elite Juniors, and this is geared towards those children who are hoping to progress into our club team system at the age of 7 & 8.)