As a PE teacher I am very passionate about sport and fitness. I am always looking for new activities for my daughter to try. I would like her to have a range of experiences and hoping she will have a love of sport and fitness like me. If not I hope she finds something she enjoys.
When she was just over two, I was looking for activities I could take her to on my days off work. I liked the sound of this so we gave it a go. There are different sessions and caters for children aged 1-5.
I was wondering how the sessions would run and how much my daughter would learn, being just over two!
I was throughly impressed with the structure of the sessions, and the detail that was passed on during them. Where your heart is, what has happened to it after warming up? The skills that are focused on e.g. balancing with one foot on the ball, stopping the ball with your sole, dribbling using small touches (using both feet), the technique for throw ins. These are just a few examples.
Obviously they are learning but everyone has to start somewhere. So, some skills might be harder than others or they might loose interest. This is ok and we are reminded that our children will do some or most of the class, whatever activities they join in or don’t it is fine.
Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive the Tiny Soccer Stars had free time to get a ball and play. With goals at both ends of the hall.
Each session is started with a sit and greet in a circle and a recap from the week before, unless it is the first one. Our coach was Coach Kate, the owner. All I can say is she has the patience of a saint and I have a lot of respect for her teaching toddlers and young children. I am a secondary PE teacher by trade. However, this was a whole different ball game! No pun intended. Ha ha.
The coaches introduce themselves and then each child is introduced (with or without help from their grown up) to the group and is given a wave and hello by all the Stars. What a fabulous way to learn names and meet people? If you are new or just to be reminded
The warm ups are great fun, even though my daughter can be very shy and quiet. They vary each week from nursery rhymes like head, shoulders, knees and toes to more active ones. E.g. Bumper cars or 1,2,3,4, 5 sprint. Every week there is a recap of the parts of the feet you can use to play Football with.
The main part of the session is broken down into fundamental skill work, ball work, where they transfer the skill being learnt to a ball.
Transferring the skill to the ball
The session then moves on to looking at throwing and catching skills. This can be done with bean bags or other equipment.
These session ends with a fun activity. These can include a parachute game as an example. Popcorn was our favourite! You have got to a love a bit of popcorn!
Through out the sessions the coaches come to see how your Soccer Star is getting on, and encourage them to develop their technique. Great I hear you say. It was. Kate was very friendly and even though it took a few sessions my daughter grew out of her shyness.
The session ends with a lovely celebration of the work all the Soccer Stars did. Sitting in a circle, like at the start, with a clap given to everyone with lots of encouragement and praise. Each Star receives a sticker, stamp on their hand and a stamp in their record book. Once a book has been completed they are rewarded with a medal. A different colour each time.
I was impressed with the amount of equipment used through out each session that we attended. Domes, mini footballs, skittles, dice, parachute, music playing through out, hula hoops. The list is long and fits in to the sessions well.
One of the most enjoyable aspects, for me, was the interaction I had with my daughter. The special time to do things together which I cherish. Seeing her learn and develop. Parents are encouraged to take part in the sessions which I was more than happy to do.
There are lots of sessions around Solihull and Birmingham. Moseley, Stirchley and Solihull are some examples.
You can pay half termly or termly. Which ever suits you best. A Tiny Soccerstars t shirt can be purchased or a full football kit. It depends on what you prefer and how much you would like to pay for this extra bit. I went for the full kit. My daughters first football kit with her name on the back. It was fab.
Kate can book you in for trial session and then you can speak to her about continuing and costs if you would like to join the sessions on a regular bases.
You can Google to find a session near you on www.tinysoccerstars.co.uk/birmingham west-midlands. Or visit Tiny Soccerstars Birmingham Facebook page.
Would I recommend Tiny Soccer Stars? Very much a yes, my daughter is now just over 3 and still remembers where her heart is and what happens to it if she does sport.She has improved a lot of her fundamental skills, loves dribbling and kicking a football. She even remembers how to stop the ball using the sole of her football. So proud. I actually want to take her to the sessions again if I can.
I was so proud of my daughter for achieving her first medal and certificate in a sport. The feeling of pride when she turned to make sure I was watching was one of our proudest moments, that we were able to share as mother and daughter. I will never forget this moment.
After all it’s about making memories! Especially ones with my family.