Toddlers Take Over The Soccer Field


Isabel Desisto

Tewksbury Youth Soccer League has reopened their program called Tiny Tikes. This program is for players aged 2-4 years old. It is co-ed for the players and it is a completely volunteer run program. The players take to the field every Saturday morning for one hour and do stretches, fun quick drills, and a short scrimmage. It is a fantastic opportunity for the young children who have been limited in their socializing opportunities to meet other children in their town.

This program was created to help children try the sport of soccer and learn the basics of it. It is run by volunteers, as there are coaches on different halves of the field and each coach gets teen volunteers who know how to play soccer, this helps the parent volunteers that have never played soccer before. Skills learned in the one hour clinic are the foundations of soccer. It will teach the children to not touch the ball with their hands and to cooperate with others. Understanding how to dribble and kick the ball will help elevate their skills as they move up through the league.

Annemarie Veits has been involved in the Tewksbury Youth Soccer program for years making her exceptionally qualified to be in charge of the toddler program. While running it, she herself is also a coach for one of the teams. One of the main parts of the program is for the kids to have complete fun. Veits often emphasizes ”no lines, no laps, and no lectures”. The program is fully focused on allowing the kids to have as much of a good time as they can and want to further pursue soccer.

Past the coaches and volunteers many guardians also are enjoying the program. One of the mothers Rebecca DeSisto spoke highly of the program “It is so great to see the children able to meet other people their ages. Lincoln (her son) is always so excited to go play soccer and see his brand new friends.” The environment is great and often family members cheer and video their children getting goals.

The clinic may be associated with the soccer league but everyone is mindful that these children are so young and new to the sport. For this reason everyone is extremely flexible and completely committed to making the children have the best experience. If any child is having an off day and would rather watch, no huge amount of pressure is put onto them as having fun is the biggest priority of the program.