First Touch Program (U4)
The First Touch Program is designed specifically for 3- and 4-year-olds who are ready to take their first touches on the ball in an organized soccer setting. Players at this young age have developmental needs that are very different from those of older players. As a result, this program has some unique features that will promote social development and physical literacy in an age-appropriate manner.
What Parents Need to Know About First Touch Soccer (updated for Spring 2019)
Each session will consist of three segments:
We will begin with an "Intro Segment" that focuses on improving physical literacy and social interaction skills. For example, our physical literacy objectives will include improving balance, coordination, running, jumping, and kicking, among other goals. In terms of social skills, we will use activities that teach awareness, focus, concentration, cooperation, and communication.
We will then move into a "Skills Segment", in which players will be shown a variety of basic soccer-related skills using the ball. These skills will generally involve receiving (stopping the ball using different surfaces of the feet), dribbling (running with the ball), and ball-striking (passing or shooting the ball).
We will finish with a "Play Segment", in which players will play a variety of 1v1 or 2v2 games against their parents or other players.
This program is designed using a "parent/child" learning model. Each player must have a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, guardian, or older sibling (who is at least 14 years of age) present at all sessions. Players MAY NOT be "dropped off" for any U4 session; if this happens, the player will be removed from the program for the remainder of the season! Our U4s will not be placed on "teams", unlike the traditional programs used for older players.
The training activities will all involve the parent and child working together to accomplish a task or to rehearse a new skill. These activities will be introduced during the weekly sessions. Parents will receive a copy of the lesson plan at the end of each session, and will be asked to repeat the activities at home several times during the following week. We will be looking to see progress in each player's (and each parent's) understanding and skill mastery of the activities at the following sessions.
Each player must bring a properly-inflated Size 3 soccer ball and an adequate supply of water to each session. Players should wear closed-toe shoes; sandals are NOT permitted. Regular sneakers will be fine. Cleats are not required (and are not recommended).