Sports City

Skills Institute

Educate. Develop. Inspire.

Developmental Soccer training for Ages 5-12

Developmental Soccer training
for Ages 5-12


Skills Institute is a developmental soccer program for children ages 5-12 years. With an 10:1 player to coach ratio, players will receive plenty of one-on-one attention as they explore their potential in the target areas of soccer. Skills Institute has a strong technical emphasis on soccer, but in addition, our curriculum allows coaches to adapt instruction to individual player differences. This means that within a group framework, each player receives personalized lessons that move the player to that player’s own next level of expertise, so that they become more valuable players to their current and future teams.

upcoming Summer Session

June 9th - August 11th

• Priority Registration opens on May 18th

• General Registration opens on May 27th

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Current Spring Session

March 11th - June 9th

We have open enrollment and will prorate the cost of the season if you join late!

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Skills Institute Classes

Skills Institute Level 1

The focus of Skills Institute Level 1 is on teaching the fundamentals of soccer development: dribbling, passing, shooting, and ball control. Players will gain confidence and understand how to apply their skills in game situations. Conducted at a high pace with small class sizes and an eye to “keeping it fun”, Skills Institute participants will engage in 30 minutes of age-appropriate instruction followed by 20 minutes of small-sided scrimmaging each week.

Skills Institute Level 2

Players well suited for this class have level 1 or prior club experience. Level 2 classes focus on refining individual technique, positioning, strategy, speed and agility. Two things come together here; honing personal strengths and understanding how to use them to enhance team play. Coaches guide and challenge players towards mastering fundamentals, understanding correct field positioning and developing a strong Soccer IQ.

Focus will be on continual development of: Individual Technique, Field Awareness, Speed and Agility, and Soccer IQ.


  • While Lil’ Kickers is a child-development soccer program, Skills Institute is a player-development program. Skills Institute’s goal is to be an introductory program and training supplement for beginners and club players alike.

  • With this approach, we provide age-appropriate trainings that meets the individual needs of your child, while also challenging their developing skills.
  • Create a Daysmart account or log into your existing account.
  • Use the “Register” menu to choose which child you want to sign up and what class you want to register them for.
  • You must register and pay for an entire session, we do not offer individual classes.
  • Sessions are one class a week for 10 to 13 weeks total depending on the program.
  • Want to try out program without the commitment? Try a free class here.

Skills Institute

  • Skills Institute classes on the weekdays (Monday-Friday) morning and afternoons are $20 per class.
  • Skills Institute classes on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are $21 per class.
  • $60 Annual Lil’ Athletes Membership is required. (Good for 1 year from date of purchase.)
    • With your membership, you will receive a Skills Institute jersey. We ask that you have your child wear this jersey when they come to class!

Payment Plan

  • Pay as you play! Enroll your child today and pay for the season with installments*. It’s instant gratification knowing that your child is going to have a blast while keeping your budget happy, too. Simply select the “payment plan” when checking out. *A low-cost service fee will be applied.

YES! Skills Institute has open enrollment!

  • You are able to join a Skills Institute session (based on availability) in progress, in any week you
    would like for the remainder of the session.
  • For those enrolling after the first week of the session, the price will be prorated so you will only be paying for the remaining classes in the session.


  • We ask that your child comes to class in comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to run around in. Our Skills Institute (shirt white or red) uniforms are popular to wear to class. You can get/purchase your class uniform at the Sports City front desk.


  • Soccer- no cleats! Cleats are not allowed on our turf fields.
    • Closed toe shoes such as tennis shoes or running shoes are fine. No open toed shoes.

Shin Guards (Soccer)

  • We strongly recommend that any child in our Skills Institute program wear shin guards and long socks for safety as the children learn the game.


  • Please bring a labeled bottle of water for your child.

For Free Trials- Check in at the Sports City front desk before heading to class.. Please arrive before the class begins. If you are more than 5 minutes late for the start of class, we will not let you attend the free trial at that time, but would be happy to have you reschedule. We want your child to get the most out of their trial!

  • For Make Ups- Check in at the Sports City front desk before heading to class to received your Lil’ Athletes class pass.
  • For Those Enrolled- You can head straight out to your field to check in with your coach.
  • Classes take place once a week, at the same time every week, and are 50 minutes long.
    • Example: If you pick Skills 5-6 Level 1 on Wednesdays at 5pm5:50pm, you would come to that class, on that day, and at that time for the entire season.
  • We run 4 sessions in a year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) that are between 10-13 weeks long.
  • You must register for an entire session, individual classes are not available.

YES! Skills Institute, for Level 1 only, offers one free trial class per child.

  • Free Trial classes are only available to children that haven’t participated in a Lil’ Kickers or Skills Institute class for at least 365 days since the previous free trial or end of their most recent session. Any class attended after the free trial will need to be paid for.
  • You must schedule a free trial using our scheduling site Acuity. Once the free trial is scheduled, the confirmation is automatic and you should receive an email confirmation.
  • After scheduling a free trial through Acuity, you must create a Daysmart account for you and your child, and sign a waiver for you and your child.

Skills Institute offers make-up classes for the amount of classes you may miss in a single session.

  • Refunds will NOT be given for any missed/unused classes.
  • Make Ups must happen within the current season session. Make Ups do not roll over into the next season.
  • You must schedule a make up using our scheduling site Acuity. Once the make up is scheduled, the confirmation is automatic and you should receive an email confirmation.

Customers may transfer their child to a different at any point in the session.

  • All class transfers depend upon availability.
  • There may be a difference in price when a child is transferred. (ex. weekday to weekend)
  • Email [email protected] to request a transfer.

A parent or guardian of each child must remain on-site at all times during class. Sports City does not assume the responsibility to supervise any siblings or friends of the Lil’ Athletes/Skills Institute participants.

  • We ask that all parents and siblings stay off the field during class.

Sports City and Poppy Bank Epicenter have a zero-tolerance policy for outside food and drinks.

Our classes are fairly popular and tend to fill up. If you were not able to enroll in your preferred class, day, and time, please check out our other class options during the week to see what else may work for your schedule.

  • Waitlists are not ensured to be added to class, not ensured a spot, and not ensured that a space will open up for them. No spaces in any class are guaranteed without payment.
  • If a spot happens to open up and you are at the top of the waitlist, the Lil’ Athletes Coordinator will reach out to you. If no one has contacted you, there is currently not a spot available. If you are contacted and you do not answer or complete payment for the spot, you will be passed up as the Coordinator will reach out to the next people on the waitlist.

If a class is attended or the class time/day have passed, no refund will be issued for that class.

  • If a refund is requested after the first 7 days of the session start date, you may only receive an account credit. This credit will stay on your Daysmart account and can be used for other Lil’ Athletes sessions and/or other Sports City events. (Credit cannot be used on the other side of the building. Sports City Daysmart credit can only be used at Sports City).
  • After week 6 of the session, refunds/account credits can no longer be issued.
  • Lil’ Athletes Annual Membership in non-transferable and non-refundable.
  • Refunds are requests. Refunds/account credit is not ensured and are at discretion of the Lil’ Athletes Coordinator.
  • Lil’ Athletes Annual Membership and Payment Plan Deposit is non-transferable and non-refundable.
  • Please email us at [email protected] to request a refund transaction. Refunds are only dealt with by email.

Classes are subject to be cancelled if there is low enrollment.

  • Classes with less than 3 children will be cancelled before week 3 of each session.
  • Classes that are closed due to low enrollment, we will first look to transfer the child to another class. If nothing else works for you, you will receive a refund for the remaining classes in the season from the date of the class closing.

The following discounts are applied once per full session:

  • Multiple Class Discount: Defined by a child who is enrolled in more than one class per week for a minimum of 8 weeks out of a session. Participants will receive $20 off.
  • Sibling Discount: Siblings are defined as children that reside in the same household and are under the care of the same parent/guardian. The sibling discount is $20 off for each child after the first is “paid in full” for at least 8 weeks of a session. Discount only applies when the children are enrolled in the same session.
  • Graton Team Member Discount: 25% off our Lil Athletes classes (Monday through Friday classes only.) Must be enrolled in at least 8 weeks of the session. Discount for Graton employees can ONLY be given when shown their ID badge.

YES! View all of Poppy Bank Epicenter job listings to apply to be a Lil’ Athletes Coach.

  • Must be 16 or older.
  • Saturday and Sunday morning shifts (7:45am-12:45pm) are both required to work here.
  • Weekday morning and/or afternoon availability is an added bonus (not required)!
  • We are looking for people who are positive, energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and most importantly- good with kids.
  • This is not a typical sports program! This is a child development program that uses the sports of soccer and basketball to grow the child as a whole.
  • If this sounds like you, then you could be the right person for this job!

Pets/animals are prohibited inside Sports City and all of Poppy Bank Epicenter.

  • Emotional support animals/pets are not allowed inside the facility. Service dogs are welcome.
  • Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Try a free class!

About Lil' Athletes

“Lil’ Athletes is a child development sports program comprised of Lil’ Kickers, Lil’ Hoopsters, and Skills Institute. These programs teach children life skills and have an emphasis in growing your child as a whole person. With thoroughly researched and age appropriate curriculum, this nationally renowned program is known for helping children develop cognitively, physically, emotionally and socially. Come for the sport, stay for the development.”

Questions About our Lil' Athlete program?