School Directors Reference List

Hello School Directors!

Following are a few “highlight points” that prospective partners often wish to know about us while considering inviting Soccer Shots onto their campus (regarding our credentials, space requirements, etc.):

A Nationwide Community of Local Owners/Operators!

Nationwide Soccer Shots will coach/mentor over 100,000 preschool and early elementary age children this year!

– We partner with thousands of schools and parks nationwide.

– Locally, we partner with over 100 schools and parks to teach over a hundred classes weekly!

– And this growth has been achieved in merely ten years in America.

– This year (2013) we will celebrate our 6th anniversary in the greater Los Angeles area.

Praise for Soccer Shots!

– Ranked “#1 Children’s Fitness Program” by Entrepreneur Magazine for the last two, consecutive years for quality of operation!

– We must be doing something right (actually, many things).

– Ask Referrals- please see our “testimonials” tab to learn about some of our many of our glowing parent experiences or…

– Feel free to call any current partner site listed on our web site. Frankly, this type of word of mouth is how we often begin new partnerships because our partner sites have such a great experience with Soccer Shots!

Physical Space Requirements

– Soccer Shots can operate in a space a small as 8 by 10 feet; we do not require a full soccer field!

– Playing Surfaces: Many sites have grass on which we play, but we also play on artificial turf, flat rubber surfaces, and indoor surfaces including wooden gym spaces and tile floors!

Minimum Enrollment

– Soccer Shots can sustain a class at any site with only six children enrolled.

– That said, many sites fill classes (our capacity is 12) and some offer multiple classes due to high demand.

Age Appropriate Programs

We offer three highly specialized and unique programs:

MINI: 2 to 3 year olds
Soccer Shots Mini is a high-energy program introducing children to fundamental soccer principles, such as using your feet, dribbling, and the basic rules of the game.

CLASSIC: 3 to 5 year olds (Pre-K)
For nearly 15 years, Soccer Shots has been introducing soccer exclusively to children ages 3 to 5. Using creative and imaginative games, weekly sessions focus on basic soccer skills like dribbling, passing, and shooting.

PREMIER: 5 to 8 year olds (K-2nd)
This program is for children who are new to soccer or who want to build upon what they have learned in Soccer Shots Classic. Focusing on individual skill, fitness, and sportsmanship, each session provides an opportunity for kids to be challenged through fun games and team competitions.

Local Leadership

– Our founders are former professional soccer players and parents who developed specially designed curriculum that demonstrated a clear understanding of the mental and motor skill developmental readiness of young children.

– All of our coaches are Live Scan cleared (and results provided to all partner sites) after a thorough interview and audition process and none are places without completing our training. Nearly all have strong backgrounds working with both children and soccer to begin with!

Insured

– Of course, Soccer Shots is insured and all partner sites are provided with annually updated Certificates of Insurance listing them as “additionally insured.”

Cost & Pricing Options

– Classes typically cost $14 per child per class or $18 per class at parks to cover our rental agreements there.

Elective Enrichment Approach: Most of our partner sites offer Soccer Shots to those interested wherein parents register and pay for their children, NOT the school.

Egalitarian Approach: However, several of our sites do include ALL of their children and pay for their classes, having built into their enrollment fees an extra cost associated with all enrichment classes they provide. Ask about special “group rates” that apply in these cases.

Seasons

Season Length: Duration of our “seasons” vary, depending on the needs of our partner sites, from 8 to 12 weeks in duration.

Quarterly Seasons: Typically, our sessions start quarterly at the beginning of the school year in September, in January, right after Spring Break and at the beginning of Summer.

How Many Seasons Are Required? Most of our partner sites elect to offer Soccer Shots year round. However, some take summers off and other elect to simply offer a season or two annually, usually Fall and Spring.

Annual Enrollment Option: Some of our partner schools elect to offer annual programs paid for by monthly, automatic draft.

Scheduling Weekly Classes: Soccer Shots meets weekly at partner sites for 40 minute classes at a day and time that is convenient to our partner sites. Classes are available any time, morning or afternoon!

How to Gauge Potential Interest?

– Soccer Shots gladly offers FREE “Demo Days” wherein every child at a school in our age group is involved in a brief, eight to ten minute “demo” class to sample what we do. This allows for prospective sites to see firsthand what we do and determine potential interest of their students and families.

Soccer Shots Sport Court Installation Day at Avon Avenue Elementary School

On November 2, 2011, Soccer Shots and its nonprofit arm, Global Goals, got to officially convert their fundraising efforts to real, live, positive impact. Soccer Shots franchisees nationwide raised money through Global Goals over the past year in order to install a SportCourt – a multi-use athletic court – on the asphalt grounds of Avon Avenue Elementary School in Newark, NJ (see Jason Webb’s recent post with more information on the installation and the impact it will have on the school and community).

Check out our video HERE of Jason Webb, Soccer Shots Partner and Co-Founder, speaking to Dominique Lee, Founder & Executive Director of Avon Avenue Elementary School, about the exciting news!

Yay For Soccer Shots!

I wanted to share this review that we received via Yelp from a parent in Echo Park. Thank you again for so beautifully putting into words your experience with our program. It truly makes me happy to know that our program has this affect on families in the community.

Review from Michelle M. in Echo Park:

My mantra as a mom is to expose my son (now 3) to everything life has to offer – from museums, a variety of music, different people and languages, etc.

It’s about encouraging a well rounded and secure relationship to the world around him, and ultimately, to empower him to chose what he enjoys in life.

So as he turned 3, I felt the next logical step was to enroll him in team sports… what better way to learn about working with others, burn off toddler energy and enjoy the outdoors? My ideal was soccer, but there were no options in my area (Echo Park). That’s when I came across Soccer Shots.

SS CommunityOutreach Yay For Soccer Shots!

They were pretty much the only soccer group that focused specifically on the 3-5 year old set… but even they hadn’t yet spread to the East Side. I contacted them anyway and long story short – they decided to donate a community outreach grant to my son’s preschool (10 sessions for the fall season!!!). I was shocked and thrilled … what a great way to build community!!

My son and his school mates have been going to soccer weekly now for about 5 weeks. He’s more agile and is learning to direct his energies. He’s starting to grasp the idea of team (a hard one for a 3 year old) and likes to talk about his scrimmages and how he and his buddies worked together.

He looks forward to every Tuesday AM (the weekly session) and I look forward to his evening breakdown of the day as it inevitably features something new Coach David has taught them (dribbling, balancing, passing) the thrill of a goal he’s scored, or praise for a buddy who did the same.

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Soccer Shots is one part of the overall balance we seek for our son. In a city with such a strong focus on the individual, Soccer Shots provides an early lesson on the importance of working together, self-discipline and the fun that comes from physical activity.

We can’t thank Soccer Shots enough for all their efforts and support – all the parents are thrilled. And while we were fortunate enough to be awarded the community grant, the overall costs are well worth it.

We’ll definitely be signing up next season. Yay for soccer shots coming to the East Side!!

Impacting Youth in Newark, NJ

(Guest post from Jason Webb, Soccer Shots Partner via The Daily Dribble)

If you’re like me, a typical week for you might include a couple of evening soccer practices at a nearby township park, dinner out with the family, carpooling in your minivan, and Saturday morning soccer games. The games where my kids play are held on grass fields which are lined and include goals. We have coaches and paid officials, concessions and public bathrooms, and our parks department or club provide these amenities at a low cost.

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This is not anyone’s typical week in Newark, NJ, a city just a few miles west of New York City known by many for its airport or its infamous riots in 1966. In fact, it would be unsafe to bring your children to a public park in the evening in many locations in Newark. Safer locations are fenced and gated. Few recreation departments have the resources to provide soccer fields. Even fewer offer community soccer programs.

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the great work of the US Soccer Foundation by installing a Sport Court soccer field on the property of Avon Avenue Elementary School in Newark, NJ.

Avon Avenue Elementary School is located in the one of the most difficult wards in all of Newark, NJ and until recently, had recorded the lowest test scores of any school in the city. For these reasons, it has gained the attention of several organizations, including the US Soccer Foundation (USSF).

The USSF creates and supports programs which are designed to keep kids active and healthy. They guide children away from negative influences by providing them with safe and healthy places to play after school – the most dangerous hours of the day. Players receive attention and support from caring mentors and coaches who work to ensure that they develop into healthy and successful young adults.

The Foundation is working to build safe playing fields and bring their “Soccer For Success” model to economically disadvantaged communities nationwide.

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Through the generosity of a donation made to the USSF by Soccer Shots Global Goals, a safe playing surface has been constructed on the playground at Avon Avenue Elementary. This new court will host an after school soccer education program led by the Claudia Reyna Foundation and will include year-round, daily soccer programs offered to Avon Avenue Elementary students after school. For most of the kids who will participate in this program, it will be their first experience ever playing soccer.

As a representative of the Soccer Shots franchise community, which so generously contributed to the construction of this court, it was my privilege to represent Soccer Shots last week during the construction of this court. We started constructing the court in the morning and by early afternoon, the court was nearly complete. It’s an 85 foot long by 55 foot wide safe playing surface which will have lines and goals. Apparently, this surface is ideal for many sports (tennis, volleyball, etc.) but found its place in soccer as the official surface for futsal. In urban locations, it’s virtually impossible to maintain grass playing surfaces, and artificial turf is cost-prohibitive at nearly 6 times the cost of a Sport Court. According to the USSF, constructing this court on Avon Avenue’s property will allow for maintenance, protection, and daily use of the surface through the USSF and its partners. The court will be the property of the school’s, and it may be used for other activities during and after school.

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The best part of the day happened around 1:30pm. The field was near complete and a group of older kids (must have been around 12 years old) were out on the school yard. They were eyeing us up, tip-toeing on the field, and peppering us with questions about the field. One wanted know if it could be used for football. Others mentioned, “If it’s for soccer, is someone coming back to teach us how to play?” That was all we needed to hear. The 5 of us representing Soccer Shots and the USSF got out a bag of soccer balls and starting playing soccer with the kids right there on the court we had just installed. We taught a few of the older boys how to juggle and head back and forth. When the school bell rang, those boys were still practicing, didn’t want to leave, and were the last ones back into the school.

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I consider it a privilege to be a coach and to impact kids positively here in my local community. I also consider it an honor and a privilege to share resources and to support the excellent work of the US Soccer Foundation in Newark, NJ and in other cities throughout the United States.

Soccer, A Unifying Force

(Guest post from Coach Adam at Soccer Shots Los Angeles)

In one of the many adventures that I have participated in, this story shows the power soccer has in uniting strangers from completely different walks of life.

Back in 2008, I was very fortunate to travel to South America for six months.

Everywhere I went, literally everywhere, there were soccer fields that seemed to sprout up from grass, concrete, and half finished buildings whose various levels seemed to defy architectural logic. Soon, it became quite apparent how important the game is to our neighbors to the south.

Kids begin the game at such a young age, and play with such ease; it is no wonder why the continent holds 9 World cup titles, with five coming from Brazil alone!

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As a soccer lover, I felt right at home. Of the four countries I visited, (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia) each of their citizens welcomed me in similar yet different fashions. But one trend that maintained consistent was their eagerness to drop everything and include me in the many games that I played with local adults and children. All that I needed to say was donde esta la partida? Translating in English to where is the game? If there was a ball and any sort of makeshift goal, a game would begin in the time it took to get two sides together.

My most memorable experience by far, was the trip I took to the DEEP coastal jungle of Ecuador. By boat, (and I mean a canoe with a motor) the village of San Miguel is a five hour ride from a river outpost in the middle of the jungle, which is a four hour bus ride from a major city. Hopefully that paints a picture as to how remote this place was. Upon arriving, we disembarked with our backpacks to a village whose residents are of African descent.

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Stepping onto shore, it was both heartwarming and sad that these people completely welcomed us without any question to their humble village. Heartwarming because it showed the human capacity for goodness and humility and sad because I questioned if these gracious people would be embraced in the same fashion back home.

For five days we lived amongst the great people of San Miguel. They had little to no money and sustained themselves through bartering with different villages that dotted the sides of the river. We celebrated Easter with them, (which was a mix of African and Catholic tradition) we ate with them, danced with them, and of course, played soccer with them.

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After one of the older teenagers approached me in what appeared to be a combative stance, I thought I might need to talk my way out of a pickle.

But instead he asks in English, “are you English”? “No”, I said. “I am actually American. “ Soon we got lost in language translation. So I fell back on my customary “Tienes una pelota? Donde esta la partida? He replied, “eres un jugador?” (You are a player?) Si, por supuesto. (Yes of course.)

From the time I spoke those words to the time we were playing was no more than five minutes. Soon, all the older kids in the village had joined us and we began our intense game of soccer, San Miguel style.

Soccer, San Miguel style consists of playing on a cement field complete with bits of glass and shards of broken concrete. Oh, and some of the kids play barefoot! Soon the kids are bleeding profusely while we play with a ball no bigger than a large softball.

So here I am playing in a steamy jungle, with kids who are playing barefoot on concrete, and running circles around me.

This was quite humbling for me as I claim a pretty good mastery of the game. We continued this as a daily ritual for the short time we were there. And while language was at times an obstacle, the game of soccer helped level that obstacle if even for 30 minutes.

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I wanted to share this story because sports, especially soccer can act as a unifying force. In my case it brought together groups of people whose lives couldn’t have been any more different. We see this every four years during the World Cup. There is always one country participating who is suffering from some form of civil strife. Yet whatever is happening in that country at the time, there is always unification around their team and their fellow countrymen. Even for just a month, people can put aside their differences and embrace a similar and powerful cause.

If soccer can help unite a country, think of the impact it can have on the youth around the world. We need to harness the positive power of the world’s greatest game and expose it to as many kids as possible. In the process, we might just end up saving the world.

Coach Adam
Soccer Shots Los Angeles