Rugrats (2-4 Year Olds)
Infinity’s Rug Rat Soccer Program is by far the very most important and exciting program you can get your child involved in when they are just beginning their interactions with other children and just starting out in organized sports, or any organized activity, for that matter.
Aspects of younger children learning soccer:
1. Young 2-4 year old children have a very short attention span and haven’t developed the concept of sharing yet. Since soccer is a TEAM sport, they have to learn to share the ball with other children, which is not normal at that age.
2. They have a lot of interests going on in their young minds at one time when they are on the soccer field (if they even go on the field). They might be more interested in the dandelion blowing in the wind or the butterfly fluttering by them than the soccer ball they are playing with. That is very normal and they should be allowed to pursue those interests for that short period of time.
3. Knowing this, we have designed a program that will ease these young children into a sport that is very team oriented and typically has a lot of parent involvement on the sidelines.
4. In a traditional soccer league, they start a child out at 3 1/2 to 4 years of age in a “game” environment and expect them to be able to understand the concepts of sharing (the ball), interpersonal relationships (understanding that the player next to them is a teammate and they need to work together), interpretation (learning the rules of a game that is completely foreign to all other American sports in that you can only use your feet and not your hands), selectivity (being able to tune out the spectators and only listen to their coach), and compartmentalization (being able to separate all the confusion on the field with what they have learned so far about the game of soccer and actually play the game of soccer).
5. As you can see, that is a tall order for anyone, let alone a 3 /12 to 4 year old just starting out on the soccer field.
6. So in the Infinity SC Rug Rat program, we don’t “throw the little ones to the wolves”! Instead, we have a program that brings them along slowly in understanding what they are doing at the soccer park and how they address each of the issues mentioned above, along with many others.
7. IT IS FOR “FUN“! It is all about the kids having a good time. If they don’t have FUN, they won’t want to come back and play again, or they will be so discouraged that even if they do play for a while, they will eventually quit and the sport of soccer ends up losing, along with the child.
8. We accomplish this by:
A. NOT having any practices during the week. We want them to look forward to coming to the park every week.
B. NOT having any organized soccer games for that age. We want them to associate this to any other normal play time activity that they want to participate in. The main reason that the U.S. doesn’t do well in the World Cup is that we lack creative players. We are so structured in our approach to the game of soccer that we take away the ability for the children to become creative in the way they play the Game.
C. NOT yelling at or criticizing the children. Everything is done in a positive manner by the Coaches and the Parents.
D. NOT expecting anything other than for the children to come out and have an enjoyable and FUN activity each week.
E. TEACHING the skills of the game of soccer slowly so the children actually learn them and can use them in the game. How to Dribble with the ball; then how to dribble next to a teammate who is running down the field with them (so the teammate doesn’t take the ball off their foot); how to pass a ball to a teammate; and then, how to receive a ball from a teammate (remember, they are very possessive at this age and really don’t want to share); how to treat a teammate (they haven’t developed those sharing skills yet), etc, etc, etc.
F. KEEPING the segments short with breaks every 10-15 minutes to keep their attention.
G. PROVIDING treats and other fun activities during the season to keep their interest so they really want to come to the park.
As you can tell by the above narrative, we have a tremendous passion for our young Infinity Rug Rat players and it isn’t just about winning soccer games. By stressing the FUN, the kids develop that creativity in their own mind and grow accordingly. If they want to pursue a career in Soccer, so be it. If they only want to use the game of Soccer as a recreational release, that’s great too. We are here to provide a FUN, clean environment for them to make their own decisions. That is what the Infinity Rug Rat Program is all about.