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Just For Kicks Information

Spring 2022 Season Starts 4/1/2022 * You MUST be registered to play!
Register HERE

Are you interested in having your child involved in a team sport, developing social relationships and getting some exercise?  If your child is on the autism spectrum Just for Kicks may be right for you.
The East Islip Soccer Club is offering a program designed specifically for children on the Autism spectrum to promote an interest in soccer.  This program will provide the children with the opportunity to learn basic soccer skills while building self esteem and having fun.  Many children on the spectrum have sensory issues which may interfere with their ability to participate in a typical soccer setting.  In an effort to help the children feel more comfortable on the field, no other games or practices will take place on the adjacent fields, therefore eliminating distractions -- i.e. crowds of cheering people, game whistles, etc….
Just for Kicks is open to children between the ages of 5 and 14.  Each child will have at least one possible two instructors helping them along the way.  These instructors are between the ages of 12 and 20.

If you have any questions please contact Louis Pepe at 516-885-1087


  1.  Please be sure your child wears shin guards.  There are ones that slip in that may not have an impact if your child has sensory issues. If the shin guards are an issue please do not push the issue and leave them out….but let us know that they are not on. Try to wear soccer shoes but sneakers are ok but not suggested.
  2. When you come to the field your child will be met by me or one of our other adult instructors.  We will then hand of your child to one possible two of our teenage instructors.  At this point it is important to tell the instructor some helpful tips to motivate your child.  Is there a reward system (after soccer we get pizza, they like hearing certain instructions, do they get stuck on certain phrases, does he/she have sensory issues, does your child work better with a boy or girl instructor)  WHAT IS A GOOD WAY TO REDIRECT YOUR CHILD TO GET BACK ON TASK?   
  3. If you have a water bottle please give it to the instructor if you think that your child will be going back and forth and use the idea of getting water as a reason to get off task.  (only necessary if you think it is an issue)
  4. We have our friends from Stony Brook University sending us college student that have a focus on education to help our instructors do their job.
  5. We try and keep the same routine each week.  The first 10 minutes small skills work, next 20 minutes trying to get your child involved with small social group playing soccer, passing …etc…, the last 30 minutes we scrimmage each other.
  6. The scrimmage is based upon ability not age….this may change from week to week.  If your child does not want to participate be patient….maybe the following week he/she will)
  7. Our instructors are all teenage instructors, most have been doing this with us for years…some are new at this… we are working at making them more proficient at their job…be patient…but help them be empowered by telling them about your child prior to the start.
  8. We use stickers as a reward system….if you want to make a contribution to the program….please bring extra stickers so we can use it for all of the kids. 
  9. Our friends Kathleen McGoldrick and Sharon Cuff at Stony brook University put in place a program to help train our instructors and we are working on the training as the season moves along.
  10. We will provide a uniform shirt…our club colors are blue shorts and red socks.  Please try and purchase them at soccer sticks in East Islip.
  11. This program is not just about learning how play soccer but more importantly helping your child build confidence with their peer group.




Players start at 5:30

You will notice there are only a handful of adult instructors in this program.  That is our design…we want the parents to have the confidence to sit back and enjoy watching their child, talk to other parents and be on the moment.  Please do not feel pressure if your player does not jump right in and participate…..for some kids this will be overwhelming….let them do it at their pace.  If at any time you feel that there is a better way for the instructor to REACH your child…let them know…let me know.  Most of all…have FUN.  We usually have 60 t0 70 players each season.  This year we have 110 players….that is a record….so please be patient with us…we want to get the kids on the field as quickly as possible….but it will take some time.

Tentative play dates are:

April 1,8,15,22,29

May 6,13,20

June 3,10

If you are using GPS….try using 1 Wheeler road GREAT RIVER NY   (use great river as the town, not islip)

TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC.  Before I address our program, I want to make it clear to everyone that the OAKDALE MERGE is a NIGHTMARE.  Read the driving directions below to see if there is a better way to the field.  Sunrise and Montauk highway WILL BE backed up.  Even if you live in East Islip or Islip it takes 15 minutes to go 2 miles!  GIVE YOURSELF extra time.  If you show up 30 minutes late…it is ok….your player will still be able to participate.  LOOK AT THE MAP I ATTACHEDA suggestion…..If you can take UNION to Connetiquot avenue there is a back way through the business center……you might want to try that today and see if that works for youRead the whole email to help your SOCCER PLAYER have a great experience.If you are receiving this email, it means that you are officially registered for Just For Kicks that starts this Friday April 1st at 5:30 at Westbrook Soccer fields.  This is a special needs soccer program that is designed help your children interact with their peer group.I do have a 19-year-old son on our Just for Kicks team so I understand some of the challenges and questions that you might have.For those of you that are new to this program….this is no stress soccer for your child.  We will provide a soccer ball and uniform shirt.  If you can please make sure that your child has shin guards and soccer cleats (they can wear sneakers if they have an issue with soccer cleats)    The SHIN guards are more for the scrimmage…if they refuse to wear them try a pair that slips in…but make sure you let us know if they DO NOT HAVE THEM so we can modify their activity during the scrimmage. Please have your player wear blue shorts and red socks (if possible)  they are our club colors. (do not force the shorts…if it is cold wear comfortable sweat pants)

1.      Upon arriving:When you child arrives to the field, they will be greeted by myself , Patti Graydon , Jason Buser, Tim Tamney, Jen Gallo,  Sonia Kelly, Kathleen Mcgoldrick, Christina Burke.  We will match your child up with one or 2 instructors that will help them along the way. Please keep in mind that the first 2 sessions may be a little chaotic.  Our goal is to get a uniform shirt on your child (if they allow it) and then match them up with an appropriate instructor….and get them on the field as quickly as possible.  We will have soccer balls for the session.2.      What we need from you?Please have a water bottle.  You can give the instructor the water bottle. This will prevent your child from running back over and possibly using the water bottle as a reason to see you.  While the instructor is being matched up try and give us/the instructor the “cliff note version”  of what works with our new player. Do they respond better to a girl or boy instructor?  What motivates them?  What phrases to stay away from?  What incentives do you use? What ways work to redirect your child on task?  Do you use rewards? ( if they do a good job we will have pizza later…etc…movies...tablet time)  Also if you want to DONATE something…please bring stickers…for the younger kids we use them as a reward.  PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE FIELD.  We have told the instructors that if there is an issue that they cannot resolve…they should come to you for advice of what would help your player.3.      What will your child be doing?The goal of the instructors is to get them feeling comfortable doing something new and different. Most importantly getting them involved on a social level with other players.  Based upon your child’s ability and comfort the instructors will decide what activity they are involved with.  We have an area where a group will be involved in some GROUP DRILLS…our goal is to have them all do this…sometimes they need time to adjust….but the goal is to have the players INTERACT with other players.  If your child is not involved with the drills the instructor will most likely do some one-on-one training with them…leading by example and showing them how to do various skills with the soccer ball…and using soccer terms.  The last 30 minutes of every session ends with a scrimmage on 2 or 3 different fields.  If they do not want to do the scrimmage, they will be involved with small sided drills with other player.4.      Who are the instructors?Most of our instructors are members of our community. They are 12 years old to 21.  These instructors are given instruction on how to help our players.  A select group of these instructor are “senior Instructors” and with the help of Stonybrook go through a training program that we run each year.  Additionally, we have a group of college students from Stonybrook that are part of the Health Sciences Center. We ask all the instructors to be responsible for the player from the start to the finish….we also tell them that they are not to allow the kids to go into the parking lot.  We do have bathrooms and we told our instructors to bring them to you first in the event they need to use it.5.      Directions:The OAKDALE merge is always a nightmare…so give yourself extra time.  If you are coming from the WEST there is an entrance off the SERVICE ROAD OF SUNRISE HIGHWAY (right before the merge)  You might be better off getting off at Carleton or Connetiquot avenue and going SOUTH to UNION to avoid the congestion.  But if you choose to not take that way stay on the service road and exit on the SUNRISE BUSINESS CENTER and drive through that complex and the fields will be on your left.Eastbound: Southern State parkway to exit 45; or Sunrise Highway to exit 46 South (Heckscher parkway/Southern State) to; Montauk highway(27A)East; through traffic signal then approximately 1/2 mile to bridge; entrance to access road is after crossing the bridge at the bottom on left. (will see baseball fields on left after turn.) Continue down access road to entrance to Westbrook on right.Westbound: Sunrise Highway to Sunrise Hwy service road at Islip Terrace/North great River (just past the "Oakdale Merge.") Stay on service road to Heckscher Pkwy (Southern State) Southbound; take Heckscher Pkwy to exit 45 eastbound (Montauk Hwy, Rte 27a) east as above to Westbrook.Sorry for the long email but I figured I would try to cover what I could….ThanksLouis


East Islip Soccer Club

East Islip Soccer Club, PO Box 289
East Islip, New York 11730

Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

East Islip Soccer Club

East Islip Soccer Club, PO Box 289
East Islip, New York 11730

Email: [email protected]

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