How the love for soccer became a crusade to change lives.
Steve Locker has played and coached soccer for the majority of his life. He was not only head coach at Harvard University, but the first American to earn a professional coaching diploma from Germany's famed Deutscher Fussball – Bund. Steve has spent years studying and intimately working with pro players in the MSL, as well as coaches, players and trainers at a world renowned level such as AC Milan. He's also had a 10-year seat on the board of directors of the world's largest coaches association, the NSCAA.
Needless to say, Steve is immersed in the game. However, it wasn't until he sat on a different sideline, in the audience of his daughter's gymnastics class, did Steve see how he could really make a positive impact with his vast experience: combine what he knew about the game of soccer, with what he could see young children needed when getting involved in sports.
With the idea for a new kind of soccer program still fresh in his head, Steve connected with Dave Fernie, an Ohio State University professor and childhood play expert (and Harvard alum) and Dr. Jackie Goodway, Ohio State University professor and motor skill development specialist for children. With insights from these two highly-accredited early childhood development and behavioral specialists, a panel of soccer professionals, a team of parent advisors and Steve's own extensive soccer experience, a powerful new soccer program was built. That program became the Locker Soccer Academy.
The Locker Soccer Academy is a one-of-a-kind soccer program developed to provide a dynamic environment where children can develop soccer skills, social skills, coordination, confidence, and self-esteem, all while having FUN. Steve's theory and the foundation behind Locker Soccer, is that in order for kids to learn to become great athletes, they must first have a passion to play the game. A recent study shows that up to 70% of children are leaving the game of soccer (and sports in general) for good, by age 13. Steve deduced that the exodus problem stemmed from the pressure and emphasis placed on winning and outcomes, rather than enjoyment and skill development. Steve's "fun to fanatic" theory has been put to the test on the thousands of children and their siblings that have come through the Academy's doors. This theory has produced results that parents are amazed to see from session to session, year to year. Perhaps the best results are that the children WANT to participate. And when a child wants to participate, they evolve in ways that will benefit them far beyond the soccer field.