Saturday mornings in the Spring and Fall you’ll find us on the soccer fields. Soccer is a huge part of our life. We spend at least 8 or more hours each week practicing or playing soccer with our kids.
My kids participate in recreational soccer. I grew up playing rec soccer; before I became a full-fledged cheerleader, so it’s super familiar and traditional to us. My husband grew up playing travel soccer, college, and represented the US overseas so he’s a bit more into the sport than we are. Of course, he also runs our local club so there’s that. I’ll do my best to provide an unbiased review here.
My girls began playing soccer at age 3, in the Mini Kickers program at AC Sandhills. Mr. Three is currently a Mini Kicker and is just itching for his chance to be on a team…in time my boy. He will do U6 this fall. The girls played all the way through U6, U8 and now play U10 & U12 rec soccer.
Miss Nine’s team is such a fun group of girls. The coach bought them all “game socks” so they match each Saturday. I love it and the girls do too. It just adds another level of fun to the team. My Twelve year old really wants to play travel soccer and has many friends that do, I’ll touch a bit on why she isn’t below. She is on a great team with one of the best recreation coaches in the league. It’s been a great year for her so far!
AC Sandhills is a multi sport non-profit club that is over 25 years old and started out as just soccer. They currently offer lacrosse, volleyball and triathlon club as well. I hope to get my girls to try volleyball and lacrosse someday. We have done the tri-club and really enjoyed it too! Will post on that at a later date! Soccer is the largest portion of the club serving thousands of kids each season. I love that my kids can start at age 3 and move up appropriately for their ability through the program.
We have not ventured into travel yet for several reasons. Because of my husband’s background I get asked a lot why we don’t play travel. For us it is mainly the time commitment and the fact that the physical ability/talent just isn’t there for our girls yet. They still want to do dance and theatre and haven’t decided soccer is their “thing”. So recreation is a perfect place for them right now, and where they belong and are learning without getting burnt out. I love that the club offers camps and clinics throughout the year so they can get more training and exposure to highly skilled coaches. If they have potential they’ll be able to tap into it and I rest easy knowing we aren’t missing something.
I trust that the coaches recognize talent and skill and will let us know if they need to move up. I love that my money is being spent appropriately for my kids. I’m not the type of parent that thinks my kids are super talented when they may not be. I’m a realist and have yet encountered a time when they have been underserved. I’ve also been around the soccer world for more than half of my life and understand the end game for kids that play. So there is your answer, we don’t do travel because it doesn’t make sense for us right now. We love recreation Saturday soccer!
We love the family like atmosphere and the camaraderie. The simplicity of having two jerseys and being able to hand them down and reuse them every year is not only environmentally friendly but super cost-effective. I will for sure get my money’s worth with 4 kids! Practices aren’t mandatory so on days we have dance we miss and my girls aren’t penalized for it. I love that this doesn’t affect their playing time during games. It takes a lot of stress off of me.
It is a rule that all kids play as equally as possible in rec soccer. It’s important to me that they do it this way, because you can only get better if you play. This also teaches them that winning is not the most important part, but teamwork and having fun is. Playing every week and practicing 1-2 times a week has given the girls friends they wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Mini Kickers is a fun program to introduce the youngest players to soccer. The structure of the program is a lot of play, exercise, body awareness & fun followed by a scrimmage to practice shooting the ball. Mr Three loves the game portion the most but really benefits from the other aspects too. We go on Wednesdays from 4-4:45; there is also a Thursday session.
Mini Kickers is held in the fall and spring and has 2 sessions each season for a total of 6 weeks each session or 12 weeks each season. The early fall and late spring sessions are the busiest since weather is the nicest then. It is $60/session and includes an adorable shirt.
Recreation soccer is held in fall and spring as well. It is $95 per season although sometimes if you register early you get a discount. Currently fall registration is $10 off. $85 for a full season of games!! I pay more than that every month for dance! 2 practices a week and a game each Saturday morning is quite a deal if you ask me! Here is the link to register for fall 2016.