Welcome to the Hickory Flat United Methodist Church Upward Soccer Program. This is a recreational soccer league for kids from age 4 to age 14, both boys and girls, and is available in the Spring and then again in the Fall each year. It is a family oriented, Christian faith-based program, open to all.
Program Focus and Goals:
- kids having a good time
- learning good sportsmanship
- being respectful of others
- getting healthy, safe outdoor exercise
- learning the importance of teamwork
- learning basic soccer skills & developing self confidence
In addition, children will be encouraged to strive to win but also understand that winning is not the most important element of the program. They will learn to respect their competition and be more focused on competing against their own potential as a measure of their progress. In addition we will promote the solid Christian values of compassion, following the golden rule by treating others as we would want to be treated, and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
The soccer program is open to all skill levels and appropriate for kids with no soccer experience as well as experienced and talented players. This is not an elite travel program and teams are established with a goal of trying to distribute individual talent evenly across the teams. Every player, based on a disciplined player substitution policy, gets to play the same amount of time as every other player on the team. The coaches work hard to find ways for all the players, regardless of athletic skill level, to be able to make contributions to the team and feel good about their participation. We accept kids that may be challenged with some disabilities and will work them into the program the best we can.
Teams are comprised of both boys and girls. We have used this mixed gender format for years and found it to work quit well. We teach soccer as a no contact sport with the need to protect the players from unsafe situations. Players are taught to be aggressive in their play but also held accountable for not injuring themselves or another player. We have also implemented special soccer rules that eliminate potentially unsafe play such as heading the ball or sliding tackles. We want the kids to play hard but to play safe.
Team Assignments & Details
- Players are assigned to a team based on a number of factors.
- Each team is assigned a specific day of the week for their once a week practice. Practices are generally one hour and last from 6 pm to 7 pm. Many families have certain nights of the week when they cannot practice. During the registration process, you can indicate one night of the week that you cannot practice and we take that into consideration when assigning teams.
- We have many families that have more then one child in the program and we work very hard to make sure that they get assigned to the same practice day if at all possible.
- Carpool links and specific requests to play on a team with a friend are also considered when possible.
Coach & Volunteer Opportunities
The vast majority of coaches in the league come from the parents of the players. It would not be possible to conduct the program without this source of coaching resources. All of the effort that goes into the program comes from volunteers and we have been fortunate in finding enough parents willing to jump in and get involved with coaching their child's team. Coaching is a lot of fun and most parents find it quite rewarding. Some parents are hesitant to consider this opportunity because they have no direct soccer experience. There is plenty of help available to provide someone without direct soccer experience with what they need to know to be effective as a coach. There are also opportunities to volunteer as an assistant coach and learn the ropes that way.
Practice & Games
All practices are held at the Hickory Flat United Methodist Church's soccer fields located behind the church. All 8 games are played at the same soccer fields on Saturday mornings. We have multiple age divisions (K4-5, G1-2, G3-5, and G6-8) and each age division plays on Saturday mornings in a specific time slot. In the past we have begun with the youngest group in the 9am time slot and moved up the age groups until we are finished generally around 1:30pm on Saturday. The specific schedule depends on the number of teams we have in each age group and can only be determined after registration is closed and teams are assigned.
Registration Fees & Other Costs
- The registration fee covers the cost of the reversible jersey that is supplied to each player and indicates which team is the Home team and which team is the Away team each Saturday. An end of season award is also included in the registration fee.
- Shorts are optional and can be purchased with an additional fee indicated during the registration process.
- We have an early registration discount available for those who respond quickly to the open registration period and we offer a discount structure for additional siblings to lessen the cost for a family with multiple kids in the program. A family with multiple kids playing should try very hard to take advantage of the early registration period because there is a compounding effect that can yield large savings.
- During the registration process you can decide if you want to make an additional contribution to the Scholarship program that we can use to assist families with financial challenges and help their kids play in the program. As little as a $5 contribution will help us provide some scholarships for children less fortunate.
We have had great success with this program, providing an enjoyable and fun family experience.
If you have an interest in getting more involved on a volunteer basis, there are many areas for contribution as we expand and grow the program. If you want to find out how you might help, please contact Jeff Ford, League Director.
We hope that you join us for our next season of Upward Soccer which will open up for Spring registration on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
Additional Information About the Upcoming Season & Upward Registration