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What to Expect

Welcome to everyone!  We look forward to meeting you and sharing the fun and excitement of our programs that we have enjoyed over the last six years. The following information will be helpful in getting you ready for the first day of class and beyond.  As always, if you have any further questions before the first class, please feel free to call or email us.

Arrival and Class Format

As you arrive for any land-based indoor or outdoor program you should check in with the Sports Plus representative and get a name tag for your child. You will then be directed to the area of the field or gym where your child can meet and begin to warm up with our coaches.  After warm up, your child will then be directed to begin drills, events, etc. in small groups. In subsequent classes we will repeat some of the same drills and introduce new ones to provide an appropriate balance of consistency, reinforcement and extension of skills and concepts. Each soccer class finishes with a uniquely structured soccer game. The length and complexity of the game will be increased during the course of our session in accordance with the progress and ability of the group. Each track class will expose children to a number of different events. Indoor games and formats will vary according to the season

We will take at least two water breaks during each land-based class. Our well trained coaches and volunteers will be present at each class working diligently as a team to provide an appropriate mix of help, encouragement and challenges based upon the skills and abilities of the individual participants.

What to Bring

For all classes please bring water. For soccer classes bring an appropriately sized soccer ball for your child.  We recommend a size 3 ball for children that are between the ages of 5-8, a size 4 ball for children between the ages of 9-12 and a size 5 ball for those 13 and up.

It is entirely up to you as to whether or not you want your child to wear cleats for soccer classes, they are not required. If your child is amenable, shin guards are a good idea. If this presents a considerable sensory issue or distraction for your child you don’t need to force it. Let us know and we will help you work through that. For the track classes running shoes or sneakers are fine.

For indoor classes your child should wear sneakers and athletic clothing and bring plenty of water. For swim classes goggles are recommended. For those in our Sports Plus swim team program swim fins are also required.

Parent Participation

As stated our flyers, parent participation is always encouraged as you believe would be best for your child. This can come in the form of participating with them or in offering verbal encouragement or direction as needed. It has been our experience in prior programs that your child may need time to acclimate to the program and understand the routine. This is especially the case in first class or two of our program. During this time period in land based programs, we recommend that you participate with your child or offer verbal direction until they are comfortable. For swim programs we typically ask that you offer encouragement but not enter the water.  Our program structure and content tends to be fairly consistent from week to week, so the children can get into a rhythm.  There may be children who will need more time to feel comfortable.  Based on our past experience this is quite normal. We have also found that as the weeks go by the children become increasingly engaged and the amount of parental participation needed usually diminishes significantly.  Just a reminder that your child is in class first and foremost to play, learn and have fun, so there is no need for unnecessary pressure or stress. We try to alternatively provide extra help or additional challenge as best suits each child.  This is their time to be a kid and enjoy themselves.  This is also a time for the parents to relax and smile and know that we are all facing similar challenges and with our children and encouraging and celebrating their abilities and achievements.

Safety Issues

For safety reasons, we also recommend that you stay aware of where your child is during the program.  There may be times when a child wanders away from the area of class instruction.  Our staff is unable to safely watch these children.  If your child leaves the immediate area of class instruction, please supervise your child carefully.  It is your responsibility to bring your child back to the class instruction area and help them regain their focus.

Sportsmanship and appropriate rules of play are emphasized at all classes. To that end we encourage all to try to use their best listening skills and to treat peers and coaches as they would like to be treated. We conclude each game by shaking hands with the opposing teammates and coming together as a group as a reminder that we are all part of one team.

Inclement Weather

Try as we might we have not found a way to control the weather. Every attempt will be made, within the bounds of reasonableness to hold each class.  If there is inclement weather, we will let you know as far in advance as possible, whether or not we will have class. The first place to check is the calendar on this site. We are completely at the mercy of the Soccer Association of Columbia and the with respect to use of the fields where rain or water soaked conditions are present for out track and soccer programs. If they close the fields then we can’t play. We will also attempt to send an email out to all in the event of a cancellation.

We highly recommend that you check the calendar, your email and the weather hotlines before you leave for class to see if there is any weather related information. You can also call us at 301-452-3781 or email us and we will respond promptly. If any classes cancelled due to inclement weather then a single make-up class will be scheduled.

Soccer Association of Columbia weather hotline (410) 313-6827

Maryland SoccerPlex weather hotline (301) 528-1497

Questions or Comments
Our classes are held back to back, so there is no time in between for us to take a break.  We try to get around to the parents occasionally or we may have time some time when things are quieter.  But, if we are not available, please feel free to email us or call us after the classes have ended.  We are always interested in what you have to say or offer.