Word of the day: GENEROSITY!

This fall, for the second time, we will take on a sometimes difficult, but incredibly meaningful, task…

… To begin conversations with our soccer players about GENEROSITY and to model EMPATHY.

… To teach our soccer players about giving to others that have less than they do, and to plant the seeds for the ability to put themselves in another’s shoes.

Screen Shot 2014 10 22 at 2.42.24 PM Word of the day: GENEROSITY!

 

For questions related to the Soccer Shots Food Drive, or to get involved, contact Alyssa McGarigal, alyssamcg@soccershots.org

 

Happy New Year Updates for 2014

As we enter a new year (our 7th here in Los Angeles!) we are grateful for the thousands of families that participate in our program each year. We also realize that this could not be done without a dedicated and unique team of individuals who all share a common vision for Soccer Shots. I wanted to share a couple of important things that will be new to our organization in 2014.

Happy New Year 2014 1 1 Happy New Year Updates for 2014

1) Full Time Coaches. We have begun transitioning and will continue to do so in 2014 from part time coaches to primarily full time coaches. This is a big step for us and one that we feel truly makes us unique among other children’s enrichment programs. We believe this move will further improve the quality and reliability of our coaches and provide a program that in the end is an extremely high value for the families and schools that we serve.

2) Group Health Insurance. All eligible full time employees will have the opportunity to enroll in our group health insurance. The plan has been set up and as of today five members of our team are taking advantage of this benefit. By the end of the year I expect that we will have over ten employees participating in our group health insurance. We believe this will make for a healthier and happier team of directors and coaches! And as a company we feel really good about being able to offer this benefit.

In addition to these two updates there will be others as well throughout the year. All in an effort to improve on a program which is already loved and appreciated by more than 5,000 families and over 100 schools in Los Angeles each year.

Happy New Year!

We look forward to seeing you out on the field in 2014!

Welcome Pilar Harris – Soccer Shots Office Coordinator

PilarHarris Welcome Pilar Harris   Soccer Shots Office Coordinator

I am pleased to introduce Pilar Harris as our new office coordinator! She officially started with us last week and is off to a quick start so far. Pilar will be as assisting our team and play a vital role in our daily operations. If you call call, email, or visit the office you will likely interact with Pilar.

Pilar has over 5 years experience in office administration including 2 years as an executive assistant with TNBA Youth Sports Academy in Orange County. She has her Bachelor degree in Sociology and currently volunteers at The Laurel Foundation as well as Create LA Arts Education Facility.

Our search to fill this position was long but we wanted to be sure to find the right person to represent our program. We are thrilled to have Pilar on our team and look forward to continued growth with her on board.

UPDATE: Many parents and schools got to know our previous office coordinator very well. Olivia and her husband moved moved to Portland for his work and Olivia is now working at Soccer Shots Portland. We wish Olivia and Steven the best of luck in Portland!

Please join me in welcoming Pilar to our team!

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.

The Soccer Shots Way

Soccer Shots is a leader in youth soccer development for children ages 2 (MINI), 3-5 (CLASSIC) and 6-8 (PREMIER). Our nationally recognized non-competitive skills program offers a high energy, fun, age-appropriate introduction to the wonderful game of soccer. 

Our innovative curriculum extends beyond physical activity to incorporate values like respect, sharing, teamwork, encouragement and cooperation. The enhancement of a child’s coordination, balance and agility is often seen immediately, but it is the building blocks being created for a life long love of sports that have the strongest impact. In each 40 minute class, experienced and enthusiastic instructors focus on having fun while guiding children through imaginative games that teach basic soccer skills. Our instructors are energetic and enthusiastic, are great teachers, and love working with children.

We are proud to offer the following unique programs at local preschools, elementary schools, and parks.

CookieMonster 300x225 The Soccer Shots Way

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. Through fun games, songs, and positive reinforcement, children will begin to experience the joy of playing soccer and being active.

smiley girl 300x200 The Soccer Shots Way

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. We also highlight a positive character trait each session such as respect, teamwork, and appreciation. Soccer Shots will expose your child to the fun of soccer and provide the foundation needed to get started in the sport.

older kids planning 300x200 The Soccer Shots Way

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. Children will also be introduced to tactical elements of the game as they prepare to play on competitive teams.

Welcome Phil Bendik to the SSLA Team (South Bay)

PhilBendik 223x300 Welcome Phil Bendik to the SSLA Team (South Bay)

Lately, we have been very fortunate to experience an extremely positive response from preschools in the south bay and have been invited into a number of new schools! With this comes the need for new, yet experienced individuals to join our team! We have been searching for a coach for some time but have not been willing to settle on just anyone to coach for us. We are very particular about who we select to join our team. The search has ended and we are excited to introduce Phil Bendik!

Coach Phil is delighted to join the Soccer Shots team.

With over 20 years of youth sports coaching and mentoring, he is excited to share is experience and help mold the young lives of today so that they can become confident future leaders.

His passion for working with youth programs was realized years ago when he began working with the Torrance Recreation Department. He has enjoyed supervising sports programs, summer camps and even teaching pre-school! There’s no doubt that his time spent working with kids helped prepare him for fatherhood as he is a proud Dad to four wonderful children. Ranging in ages from 15 to 5, he spends as much time as possible playing, listening and laughing (the list could go on and on) with his kids.

When not on the field or spending time with his family, Phil enjoys classic movies, reading and witty conversation. In 2001, he caught the triathlon bug and soon after, completed his first Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, ID. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and is in the process of beginning his master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.

Thankful for the many opportunities and accomplishments that have come his way, Coach Phil is truly inspired by the success of others.

“There is no greater feeling than watching someone else cross that finish line and accomplishing their goals.”

Coach Andy Joins SSLA as Full Time Lead Coach & Assistant Director of Coaching

AndyBaena 259x300 Coach Andy Joins SSLA as Full Time Lead Coach & Assistant Director of Coaching

We have been extremely fortunate to have had Andy’s warm personality, passion for working with kids, and years of soccer experience as part of our team over the past couple of years.

And now we are very pleased to announce that Coach Andy Baena has agreed to join us as our full time Lead Coach, Assistant Director of Coaching, & New Business Development (Leagues/Partnerships/Bilingual Programs).

Originally from Manizales, Colombia, Andres “Andy” Baena has lived in California since the tender age of three. He remembers watching his father play soccer and it was then that his passion for the sport was born.

At the age of five, Andy started what would be his soccer career. By the time he reached high school, he was a part of several nationwide traveling teams. He then continued to play for two years at Los Angeles Mission College which led to being part of the first team in 2003 to be honored by the Western State Conference.

At this point in his life, Andy turned his attention to developing strong soccer players, spending time educating and physically training them.

In early 2012, Coach Andy took on the role of Assistant Director of Coaching as well as the responsibility to further develop partnerships with popular leagues, clubs, and bilingual programs in the local Los Angeles soccer world.

With several years of personal and professional experience in youth soccer development, Andy is looking forward to contributing and acquiring knowledge.

“I believe that positive youth development is extremely important to making the future a better place to live in.”

He also worked at a soccer store with almost 10 years of experience helping players from age two and up making sure they have all the right equipment to maximize their soccer skills.

Great friendships, discipline, and the meaning of hard work on and off the field are all lessons soccer has taught him. He enjoys helping children start their soccer experience in a fun, positive and healthy environment.

Andy now plays soccer for fun and is happy to be a part of the Soccer Shots team.