Launch of the Soccer Shots youth program in the Brazos Valley
BRAZOS VALLEY, Texas – Soccer Shots is a youth program designed to support children in their physical and personal development in underserved communities.
Local children ages two to eight are eligible to participate in Central Texas and now in the Brazos Valley.
Through positive reinforcement, this youth program gives children the chance to have coaches who provide age-appropriate developmental techniques that meet early childhood education standards.
Parents and guardians are also notified of everything their child learns.
Coach Polina said the children are learning valuable football skills.
“We teach them to touch their toes, we teach them to dribble and coordinate their feet with this ball…
I think that’s what’s really beneficial, because the more they do that, the more comfortable they feel,” she said.
Coach Polina and owner of Central Texas Regions Sameera Ali said the kids are also learning to be leaders and become more independent.
“I think if you look at our program, it will help children improve their gross motor skills, socialization skills, and self-confidence,” Ali said.
Coach Polina also said she loves it when the kids share how they are implementing the skills they are learning in football shooting.
“Like a kid came to me once and it was like I got an extra sticker because my teacher said I was so respectful, just like you taught me. It warms my heart…I love watching them grow, I love watching them succeed, and just being happy and smiling,” Burk said.
Ali said that there are four different types of programs, all with different goals, in football plans. The newest addition is empower, for children with disabilities.
“So we now have the empowerment program for our Waco, Temple and Killeen territories this season. This is our first season and possibly next season we plan to bring his program to the Brazos Valley,” she said.
Emily Stevenson, a mom, says this type of youth program is unique in the area. Stevenson also says his son always talks about it during the week.
“I really appreciate that he’s at Bryan-College Station, where something like that is available. It’s not just your regular football program…We’re really laying the groundwork for what they’re going to be in. as people and as adults,” she said.
Each week, children learn a new character word and a new soccer skill through the program.