we’re launching our brand new interview series today! and we’re REALLY excited!
Signing children up for activities like sports, lessons, classes, camps and after-school programs can be stressful, especially when it’s your first time. Generally, word of mouth is the only reliable way of finding out what an activity is really like before you pull the trigger and commit. While you can expect to learn a bit about the activity from the event listing, generally you want to talk with someone who’s actually been there and done that, right? That’s where MiniBury comes in! We’re connecting you to the experts; parents, teachers and coaches who’ve been in the trenches before and want to tell you what it’s really like! We hope you love this new series as much as us, because we’re super stoked to introduce you to our first local expert, Jenn Quinn, volunteer parent coach of the Middlebury Rec Park Preschool Soccer Program.
Jenn just wrapped up the first session of the 5 year old program as both a parent and a coach. This coming Monday the second 4-week session begins. Since there’s still space available for new players in both the 4 and 5 year old programs, we chatted Jenn up about what the program is really like.
So, here are 10 things you need to know about Preschool Soccer:
- Let’s go through some basics first – when should we arrive? Practice is at 4:30, so arrive by 4:20 to get shin guards on and get a drink of water.
- What should my child wear and/or bring? Loose fitting clothes with layers. Bring a water bottle. Sneakers or cleats. Cleats and shin guards are optional, but I’d highly recommend shin guards for everyone. 5 year olds like to kick, but they often connect with other little legs instead of the ball. We recommend the ones with a removable or independent shell (like these) rather than a traditional shin guard. They’re easier to get on and off (and washable).
- Can we buy those in town? Olympia sells a variety of shin guards, but you can also check Junebug for used cleats and for a larger used selection try Play it Again Sports in South Burlington.
- Are there any other costs that will come up during the season that we should plan for? No, in fact each player will get a free t-shirt and a free ball to take home at the end of the session.
- How many children are in the program? About 20.
- How much time will I spent on the sidelines (in other words – do I need to stay and watch)? With 5 year olds (and 4 year olds too) it’s important to have the parent nearby, so I’d recommend staying. We find that for 4 and 5 year olds, if they have an injury they still need their parent for comfort. Plus, if your kid needs to go to the bathroom a coach can’t go with them.
- My kid is pretty nervous, what should I do or say to help ease her nerves? If possible, kick a ball around at home, it doesn’t even need to be a soccer ball! You might also talk about how most kids doing the program haven’t played before either and the goal of the program is to have fun and move around! On the first day, feel free to walk your kid up to one of the coaches and make a one on one introduction. This helps both the coach and the player.
- Ok, now about the actual activity time: are the kids always in a large group or will there be time for small groups too? The practice starts out with everyone together for a warm up and stretches, then we will break into small groups of roughly 5 players. Let your kid know that they’re always welcome to join a friend’s group if need be.
- What else do we need to know? Like I mentioned before, this is all about having fun and it really is a lot of fun! Kids laugh a lot and so do the coaches. Our goal is to get kids comfortable kicking a ball and moving their bodies (and consequently they also get used to taking instruction from someone other than their parents). We actually don’t scrimmage the first week or two because for a lot of kids the concept of a full game is not yet accessible or even particularly fun. Instead, we make sure that those little bodies are moving and touching the ball!
- Sounds awesome, is there space left? Yes, call Dustin 802-388-8100 ex 205 or visit the online registration today!
What activities do you want to know more about? Leave us a comment so we can reach out to the right experts!