As this fall Saturday morning rolls around, so does another soccer game. So, I thought it was a perfect time to tell everyone about our latest toddler sports adventure!
What it is: Triangle United Soccer at Woodcroft is a soccer league that has teams for ages 3 and up. However, since my oldest son just turned 3 not too long ago, the younger end of that spectrum is really all that I can speak about at this point. Please add your comments if you have anything to add about the other ages.
As the summer came to a close, soccer registration started. So, we headed online to their website, and registering was fairly easy. We signed up for the co-ed under 4 division. You simply fill out some information online and then mail them a check as well as a registration form you can fill out and a copy of their birth certificate. When registering online you can also request other children who you want to be on your team, and all of our requests were granted. After they have all of your information, they take a few weeks to come up with the teams. The organization and the coaches will e-mail you your information and the season is off and running.
For the littlest players they have practices one evening a week and games on the weekends. I was a little wary about how soccer practice would go for a bunch of 3 year olds, but our coach was wonderful. The kids were a little apprehensive, but it is definitely okay if your child wants to hang out on the sideline for a while or needs a parents to participate with them. The coach leads them through some game and skill activities while teaching them about the basics of soccer. While my son wanders off at time or gets sidetracked by something, he is able to follow the directions and is actually learning some soccer skills!
The first game was equally as low key. We were divided up into groups that were 4 on 4. There were no goalies and the kids tried to kick the ball into the goals for 4 time periods divided up with breaks for drinks and snacks (every toddler's favorite). While I can safely say that my son is not an immediate soccer star (he's an expert flower picker though), it has been a good experience for him, and as the season progresses he's gradually getting the hang of teamwork and the rules of the game.
What we liked: The cost of the season is pretty low at $75 for registration and uniforms. In addition, the games for the little children don't have any pressure and just focus on helping them have a good time. In addition, I'm pretty sure that watching under 4 soccer is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!
What we would change: I think that the nature of the league means that your experience can be very coach dependent. We have a great coach that is good with the kids, but I can see how a different coach might really change your experience. In addition, on some weeks they have two games in a weekend. That can be a lot for the little guys.
Website and other important information:
Address: All games and practices for us took place at the Woodcroft clubhouse at 1203 West Woodcroft Parkway, Durham, NC 27713
Season: Our soccer season runs from early September to early November