MVSC invites you to join us in another exciting Fall season for our youngest players. By introducing kids to team soccer in this unique format with professional coaching oversight, you can help us create a fun and nurturing experience for your Kindergarten children and their friends!
Guide to the Kindergarten Game
A simple explanation of our kindergarten soccer program might be:
“The smaller the child, the smaller the game, the bigger the fun!”
Young children do not understand or play the game of soccer like older players. Their bodies aren’t quite ready to master technical aspects of the game, and their interest in rules and tactics is non-existent. They want to run with unbridled abandon, they want the ball as much as possible, and if all goes well, they want to score! As parents or coaches, to ask more is to diminish their capacity for enjoyment and personal success. MVSC has taken into account the characteristics of young children - how they learn and play - and we have adjusted the game to better suit the characteristics of our youngest athletes.
Format of the Game
Our Kindergarten teams play 3-on-3, with no goalkeepers, and special rules that keep the ball in play at all times. Bigger formats with more formal soccer structure and rules just don't work for these active young athletes. Even 5-on-5 play is too big a game to allow for maximum learning and enjoyment at this age.
Characteristics of Kindergarten Children
Young bodies grow at different rates, balance and agility are in their infancy, and the ability to process lengthy instructions is not on their agenda. In addition, these young players are egocentric in their cognitive development: they want the ball for themselves, and sharing the ball is a concept only occasionally worth exploring. Simply controlling the ball and running with it in the right direction demands most or all of their attention. Complex rules and tactics usually fall by the wayside, and even waiting for the play to start can cause loss of attention.
Keeping it simple, keeping them moving, and MAKE IT FUN!!!
Kids usually consider effort to equal performance. "If I tried hard, I did well."
They need generous praise without pressure. Parents should ask, "Did you have fun?" and NOT, "Did you win?" Kids crave acceptance from teammates and coaches, and negative comments carry great weight. “You did that wrong” can often be heard as “You were bad!” Tone is important, and it’s challenging as parents to show them the correct way, and then accept results regardless. Be patient, and you might catch your child doing it right. Praise them!!
Kids want to play for “fun,” and winning is not their natural focus at this age. They want to feel successful, and it is too often the parent that focuses on the score. They care about the “team,” but they tend to play in isolation (parallel play): 1 v 5 instead of 3 v 3. “Why would I want to pass the ball when I just got it?” They have two speeds - ON and OFF. Generally, they cannot pace themselves. They tire easily and recover quickly. Players will simply stop during play to recharge their batteries. That’s entirely OK, and after a pause they tear off again in search of the ball.
Our goal for players is simple: maximum activity, maximum touches on the ball, remove the focus on winning, and aim it at individual learning, fun and success.
Our goal for parents: as a community, try to see all these players as “your” kids and encourage, praise and help them all. On the surface, soccer is a game of running and kicking, but at its core it is also about decision making and execution of ideas. Allow our children the opportunity to make decisions and mistakes, and embrace their chance to learn. Don’t restrict them by assigning positions (Offense, Midfield, Defense) that will take away their freedom of movement, and don’t shout instructions (“Kick the ball!” “Run THAT way!” “Shoot!”) that will limit the learning and fun that comes with making their own playing decisions. Understand that even passing the ball can be a very foreign concept to a youngster who wants to take the ball and make things happen on his or her own.
Our goal for the program: provide a kid-friendly environment in which children are free to compete against their own limits and expand their capabilities, and to have a lot of fun doing it!
We provide professional trainers at every Kindergarten team practice. Volunteer parent coaches are welcome to join in the weekday fun, but for busy moms and dads, your presence as a coach at practice during the week is not required. To see the amazing coaches who work with our youngest athletes, please see the Coach's Bios to the left.
Parent Coaches manage team communications, and help facilitate the weekend games, but we'll lend you a helping hand there, too, with professional facilitators in the early weeks of the season.
Our on-line registration opens on April 1st, and while we do initial team formation in June, registration for this age group stays open until just before the start of the school year, to allow for sign ups that will naturally occur when parents and kids learn who their new classmates will be. Teams are formed with a maximum of emphasis on Friend Requests and School-based teams. The season runs from late August through late October.