We’ve started our almost-2-year-old in Sunday morning soccer “classes” at Bladium (in Alameda). The program is called Lil’ Kickers and is nationally franchised. I actually haven’t been to any of the sessions yet (the classes were a Father's Day “gift” for me-- ahem, I mean for my husband!), but from what I hear it’s a lot of training in following directions for group activities (stacking cones, parachute play, etc.) with some soccer thrown in. My son loves to kick a ball, and the class actually doesn’t have quite enough soccer for his liking, as he’s in the youngest age group, but I think the groupings for your son’s age range (“Thumpers” or “Cottontails”) have a fair bit more of that. Anyway, the weekend classes seem to fill up fast, but there are lots of sessions throughout the year.
For a 3 year old, you could look into Bladium in Alameda - they run lots of programs for toddlers like "Little Kickers" (for soccer) and "Little Sluggers" for T-ball. I'm not sure if or how they're operating in Covid times, but it's worth looking into. Also, FYI if Alameda isn't convenient for you, we used to do their classes at the Beach Play Field on Linda Ave in Piedmont - they contracted with the City of Piedmont Dept of Rec to offer classes there, which was great- much nicer to be outside than in their giant (indoor) airplane hanger building in Alameda.
Bladium is very fun. Kids run around and play. Adults can sit and drink wine and chat. You can buy wine and beer from Bladium's bar. (You cannot bring in your own.) But, you CAN bring in your own food, although the party package includes pizza. It's very easy and fun for everyone. We've done it twice for Dec. birthday celebration.
I like to follow this post cuz I'm looking for a place for my 4yo daughter to learn, too. I know Bladium Sports Club on Alameda has climbing walls and instructor for kids, but it requires family membership, if it's not too far for you, it's worth of paying a visit.
The Lil Kickers Soccer classes are awesome! My son started at 18 months in the bunnies classes. Now he's in the Micro 4/5 class. He talks about his coaches all the time. Some of his old coaches are still coaching there so he's excited to see the whole staff every Saturday! We're big fans! They let you try a class for free so you can see how great the classes are. It's a great facility. And, they just added a cafe too. I highly recommend Lil Kickers at Bladium!
We've been very happy with the soccer programs at Bladium. The drive is worth it. We learned about soccer in the Bay Area while trying to find an option for our first son. We tried a few programs in Berkeley and Montclair and found some were decent and some seasons were not. I think it depended on the coach with those programs. We found that Bladium had the most consistent program and coaches. The coaches really got through to our kids and seemed to really want to be there on the field with the kiddos. Our oldest attended Lil Kickers for many years, then Skills for one session, and is now in the Pre trying to make it into the West Ham at Bladium. Our other kids are loving the Lil Kickers classes too. They love to put on their uniforms. I can't say enough about how great the coaches are. They've been very helpful and flexible. They help you make up classes and allow you to get a refund if you need to stop classes for any reason. Great customer service! Bladium has soccer down pat!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Soccer for a 5 year old
Definitely check out Lil Kickers at the Bladium in Alameda. It may be a bit more of a drive, but they have a great kiddo program. I'm impressed with the focus on fundamentals and the creative ways they teach them to make them fun for little kids. Each kid gets a Lil Kickers jersey which is kind of fun too. There are some coaches that are better than others, so you may want to ask the registration person for a tip on that front. Phone number: 510.817.4999, x108. BTW, they have great birthday parties as well. MB
Re: Winter soccer league for 13-year-old
My Daughter's team is currently playing at Bladium in Alameda. It is fast-paced and a lot of fun. You can get more information at www.bladium.com or just Google ''Bladium''. The fall season just started and will end at the end of Jan. The winter season will start right after that. Usually whole teams sign up together but your daughter might be able to join a team that is already registered and needs more players. You can contact Luis at Bladium for more info. He is the person in charge of the soccer there. Please feel free to contact me for more info. Good luck, Shawn
Try the Bladium in Alameda. They include about an hour of a sport, then a jumpy house area. Kids seem to have lots of fun. anon
Hands down, Bladium Sports club on Alameda island. They have a great indoor soccer arena and organized soccer parties. You can also do rock climbing, roller hockey and much more. I think they provide pizza, drinks and a cake, but I am not totally sure. There is a person that leads the kids for their soccer adventure. Good Luck! Alameda Mom
Re: Soccer for 3 1/2 year old
The Bladium sports club in Alameda has a great soccer program for preschoolers (and older). It's called Lil' Kickers. My 5- year-old and his friends have been doing it for over a year now and they love it. The program costs about $120 for a 12-week session (but you can try a class for free). They have weekday afternoon and Saturday classes. For information, call the Bladium at 814-4999 and ask for Lil' Kickers program director John Kelly. soccer mom
Re: Soccer for 3 1/2 year old
I highly recommend ''The Lil' Kickers'' indoor soccer program at the Bladium Sports Club in Alameda. My son has been in the program for the last two sessions and loves it!
Coach John Kelly, the Children's Soccer Director is very professional and WONDERFUL with the children. The program has many different levels starting at 18 months and allows for a very non-competitive fun experience. However, the children still learn the basics soccer skills like dribbling and even scrimmaging through really fun games. Also, Coach John teaches the kids the fundamentals to being on a team such listening to instructions, taking turns and encouragement for one another. The fee even includes a free uniform that my son is so proud to wear every week! The next session starts on March 15th and lasts 12 weeks...(510) 814-4999 ext 122
Re: Soccer for beginner 12 yr old?
The Bladium in Alameda has a year-round soccer program, including league play and clinics, that could help your daughter learn and polish her skills before the outdoor leagues start next fall. Indoor has a few different rules than outdoor but not enough to make it a completely different game. If she were my daughter, I'd start her on indoor now to prepare her for fall. (I've played outdoor and indoor myself and both my daughters play outdoor). Their web site is www.bladium.com. Good luck! Jennifer