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New Mexico Rapids Durango SC

Mini Kickers Soccer School


Fort Lewis College / New Mexico Rapids Durango SC "Mini Kickers Soccer School" services the u5-u9 age groups (Pre K - 3rd Grade).  For the Fall 2024 / Spring 2025 year, this encompasses the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 birth years. Registration opens every Fall and Spring as separate "seasons" and there is also an option to register for both seasons.  The FLC / RRDSC Mini Kicker program includes age group trainings and games.

COSTS:  $80 per Fall 2024, $80 per Spring 2025 or $150 for Fall 24 and Spring 25
LOCATION:  Fort Lewis College
TIME: Tuesdays: 5 - 6pm, Thursdays: 5:45 - 6:45 pm, Sundays: 1 - 2 pm
DATES: Fall: Tuesdays: 8/27, 9/3, 9/10, 9/17, 9/24,  Thursdays: 8/29, 9/19, 9/26,  Sundays: 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/29
Spring: TDB
PAYMENT: Mail check payable to New Mexico Rapids Durango Soccer Club, 862 Main Ave #203, Durango, CO. 81301


Director: Hayley Hollenga, [email protected],  ‭(719) 237-3097‬

Methodology- play to learn, learn to play

Character Building- Our effort is to develop young people through the sport of soccer. Further, our approach is to develop fundamentally sound soccer players.  This takes the effort of learning to play and compete correctly as our main focus, we want children to have fun and practice dealing with the emotions that sometimes get in the way of this.

Appropriate Development- Understanding how children develop cognitively and physically is a major element of our approach.  Therefore, our players will learn the fundamentals in the correct order, keeping in mind the young player is not interested in sharing…yet!  Ball Mastery first, dribbling and controlling a ball are the first step, as the ball and playing with it are why players play.  We hope that by 7 we are proficient and will then begin to shift into passing and spacial understanding to create the ability to share the ball.

Focus- The current environment is to focus on game outcomes, we want to change this.  This detracts from correct development, and our belief is that focusing on tactics to win games, destroys long term technical development.  Confidence is hard to maintain, but we believe we can help by creating a more pressure free environment.

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” Jack Dixon

How do we do this?- A guided discovery model is our approach, and peer/play based and positive coaching are the foundational parts of the environment.  Kids are naturally curious, so the more experience they have with playing, the more capable they become.  Most important, they feel joy in the soccer ball, and this grows curiosity. We aim to foster a courageous player and person in our efforts.

Conclusion: Let’s not let our kids take short cuts. Let’s train to be successful, and win later in life when it matters.

Mini-Kickers Age-Appropriate Curriculum and Cognitive Development Approach to Training Sessions

For each age group, we are looking to create proper technique and habits that will then translate into skill and mastery. Guided discovery by coaches allows players to begin to think for themselves and grow into the game. We move away from a game and results-based model to allow for more growth and development as well as finding their passion for the game. The ball centered approach is fundamental to players finding the love for the game.  The ball is the main reason players choose sports as an outlet.  They love the opportunity to control. We keep our overall focus on fun, learning, and relationships while fostering each player to enjoy and love soccer on their terms.

Ages 4 – 6:

For this age group we look to use children’s imagination with training sessions. A theme is tied with every session to ensure creativity and provide a fun training environment. Majority of the focus will be with the ball at the child’s feet. The game right now for them is about themselves and they have a “me vs. we mentality”. Children are still developing basic motor and coordination skills therefore ball control and dribbling is our priority, followed by the basic ability to avoid others and not run into one another. We briefly introduce passing and receiving.

Technique Focuses:

Ball Control/Dribbling:

·       Toe Taps and Tic Tocs

·       Using inside and outside of foot to dribble forward

·       Dribbling slow vs dribbling fast (progress to keeping head up)

·       Stopping the ball with sole (bottom) of your foot

·       Changing direction – pull back

Passing & Receiving:

·       Intro to passing a stationary ball with inside of foot

·       Intro to receive with inside of foot and sole of foot

Game Principles and Language

·       Attacking (Trying to score a goal)

o   Get Forward

·       Defending (Stopping a goal from being scored)

o   Get the ball back

Ages 7 – 9:

For this age group, we are looking to build off the techniques they have learned previously and build them into skills. They will use the foundations of body control and coordination that will allow them to take on more information.  Player’s are now more social and have more friendships so more of “we mentality” is present here. Effort is very important to this age group as well as focusing on specific tasks at hand. Positions and game principles are being introduced a bit more here too as their spacial awareness is improving.

Skill Focuses:

Ball Control/Dribbling:

·       Toe Taps and Tic Tocs

·       Step-overs and scissors

·       Using inside and outside of foot to dribble and to move laterally

·       Dribbling with our head up

·       Dribbling with the ball and intent to go around/beat their opponent

·       Changing direction – pull back, outside of our foot

Passing & Receiving:

·       Focusing on proper weight of our pass, using inside of foot to hit middle of the ball

·       Eye contact when passing to our teammates

·       Intro to receiving with your back foot


·       Using laces to strike the ball

·       Plant foot used to aim at the goal

Game Principles and Language

·       Attacking (Trying to score a goal)

o   Get forward

o   Help your teammate

·       Defending (Stopping a goal from being scored)

o   Get back/get the ball back

o   Help your teammate 


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