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The Pre-Academy L1 Program is designed specifically for 3- and 4-year-olds who are ready to take their first touches on the ball in an organized setting.

This program has some unique features that will promote social development and physical literacy in an age-appropriate manner. Children at this early age have developmental needs that are very different from those of older players, and thus require a learning environment that differs from “traditional” team sports programs.

Upon completion of the Pre-Academy L1 program, children will be well prepared to begin Pre-Academy L2 when they are 5 and 6 years old.

Key Objectives & Methodology

  • Key Objectives: Support the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional developmental needs of young children through fun, creative, and imaginative programming.
  • Methodology: We use a mix of challenge-based activities that allow players to learn at their own pace in a fun, creative, and nurturing way. Players learn to listen and respond to instructions provided by a coach and will learn how to focus on tasks in a dynamic environment. Short, interactive activities focusing on basic movement and foundational soccer skills help children learn to move skillfully and enjoy the ball.

Program Information

· Ages: 3 and 4 year old’s

· Program Length: 8-weeks

· Activity Format: Individualized activities in a group setting

· Program Structure: Co-ed, instructor-led activities for children and guidance for parents.

· Session Frequency: (1) per week on Monday 45 minutes each at 4:30PM - 5:15PM beg. June 24th - August 19th

· Coaching: Each session is led by our Pre-Academy Director.



  • Size 3 soccer ball (inflated with a name on it)

  • Soccer cleats or athletic sneakers; NO SANDALS or open-toed shoes (You don’t have to go buy cleats just for this occasion.)

  • Shin Guards

  • Water bottle (with a name on it)

  • KVSC Pre-Academy L1 Program T-Shirt (included with registration)


What Parents Need to Know About Pre-Academy L1 Program

Sessions will be held weekly on Monday evening. If a session is rained out, it will be made up on the following Friday evening. The club will send an email 1-2 weeks in advance of the first session with more details and the upcoming schedule for your child. 

Session Structure:

  1. Ball Play Segment: The “Ball Play segment" focuses on improving technical, physical and social interaction skills. For example, our objectives will include improving ball control, agility, balance, coordination, running, turning, changing directions, jumping, among other goals. In terms of social skills, we will use activities that teach awareness, focus, concentration, cooperation, and communication.
  2. Skills Segment: In the "skills segment", players will be shown a variety of basic soccer-related skills using the ball. These skills will generally involve
    • Dribbling with Ball (Stopping, Starting, Turning, Change of Direction and Running with ball.)

    • Receiving (stopping the ball the sole, inside, outside of feet)

    • Ball-striking (passing or shooting the ball)

  3. Play Segment: In the final "play segment", the players will play a variety of 1v1 or 2v2 games against other players.

Each activity will involve the child playing fun games in order to learn a task or to rehearse a new skill. New ball manipulation/mastery activities will be introduced each week, so it is important to attend all sessions to gain the most benefit from the program. 

Parents will receive a copy of the lesson for each session so that they can repeat them at home several times during the 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.


  1. This program is designed using a "parent/child" learning model. There will be guidance on what to do at home with your child. Each player must have a parent, guardian, or older sibling (min. 14 years old) present at all sessions.
  2. For safety and security reasons, players MAY NOT be "dropped off" for any 3-4 year olds sessions; doing so will result in the player being removed from the program.
  3. 3-4 year olds will not be placed on "teams” and will play a variety of games throughout the sessions focused.
  4. They will develop physical literacy in a soccer setting.



The Pre-Academy L2 Program provides 5-6 year old’s a fun, safe and developmentally-appropriate introduction to soccer.

In this program, we teach fundamental skills, basic movement skills (the “ABC’s of agility, balance, and coordination w/the ball) and help children learn to “move” skillfully. Players also learn how to work within a team environment, improve confidence and self-esteem, and enhance their social skills and interaction. 

The Pre-Academy L2 Program provides playing options for all U5-U6 players and prepares them for the AYSO or KVSC Academy Programs.

Key Objectives & Methodology of the Micro Program

  • Key Objectives: Introduce the ball, introduce the game and learn basic ball mastery skills, develop gross motor skills, improve social interaction, and inspire players to love the ball and grow in the game. 
  • Methodology: Fun, soccer practice activities develop confidence with the ball. Short, fast-paced games during our sessions improve each player’s understanding of the game while minimizing “idle time” and boredom.  

Program Information

  • Program Length: 8 weeks (Summer) 

  • Game Format: Small-sided, Continuous Play Format 

  • Practice Frequency: 1 (1) per week, 1-hour, beg. June 24th - August 19th

  • Games: In-House at practice.


  • Size 3 soccer ball (properly inflated, with a name on it)

  • Soccer cleats & Shin-guards

  • Water bottle (with a name on it)

  • Pre-Academy Shirt Kit (Received at 1st Practice)



Characteristics of 5/6 Players

  • Minimal differences between boys and girls

  • No sense of pace; easy fatigue and rapid recovery

  • Primitive motor skills and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination

  • Throwing, catching, and kicking a ball present real challenges

  • Still learning to control their body; love to run, jump, and roll around

  • Very short attention span; need simple instructions

  • No understanding of time and space relationships

  • Tend toward illogical thinking; fantasy and reality frequently intermingle in playtime

  • Highly egocentric; play in parallel to (and not with) each other

  • No sense of “team” or group dynamics

  • Focus is on the ball; they do not like to “share the toy”

  • Psychologically fragile (very vulnerable to criticism from adults

Age-appropriate Implications for U5/U6 Players

  • Movement education is very important; balance, skipping, hopping, jumping, running (forward and backward), getting down and back up, and changing directions are all essential skills to rehearse often

  • Ball control (trapping, sole delay, pull and dragbacks), running with the ball (dribbling), ball-striking (shooting and passing), and ball-winning are the main priorities for skill development

  • “Kicking” (or “booting”) is NOT SOCCER!  We must teach players that we always control the ball first, and then decide to dribble, pass, or shoot.

  • Give generous praise and provide a pressure-free environment

  • Practices = 60 minutes in length

  • Get BIG when we have the ball, Get SMALL when we don't.

  • Players have issues with throw-ins and kick-ins, so postpone these concepts to later age groups (U7+)

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