Owner Doug Gatanis and his business partner Zach Rubin both spent years playing soccer as youths, but it wasn’t until the pair met through a local soccer coach they realized their mutual plight: there were no serious soccer retailers operating in New York. That simple motivation has led to Upper 90 Soccer and Sport, the Upper West Side’s premier soccer outfitter and home of all things futbol. The store opened in September 2009 and has quickly expanded to two other locations, with the original Amsterdam Avenue location stocking all manner of soccer footwear, equipment and apparel, including professional team jerseys. Upper 90 even boasts flat screen TVs that constantly show games, and invites their regulars to grab a chair to catch the action themselves.
Argentina–born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12–24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
While working with players ranging from toddlers to high-schoolers, the professional coaches at U.K. Elite Soccer, Inc. incorporate individual training and team-focused programs to create well-rounded athletes both on and off the pitch. Their game-based approach to teaching helps younger students learn motor skills, social skills, and coordination, and gives older students the chance to learn how to dribble in Morse code. The instructors also incorporate methods from football clubs around the world, borrowing tricks from footballers in England, Brazil, the USA, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany to augment training courses. Programs run throughout the year, allowing players and coaches to focus on continual development no matter the season.
If you want to learn the differences between soccer and futsal, you won't find a better classroom than Westchester Futsal. Throughout the year, the non-profit organization—which is sanctioned by the United States Youth Futsal organization and affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation—hosts seasonal camps, private lessons, and tournaments to introduce youngsters to both sports. On any given day, the organization's experienced coaches can be seen teaching the traditional 11-on-11 format of soccer or the quicker paced 5-on-5 format of futsal, which is popular in Brazil and with foosball figurines that want more shots at the ball.
This Upper West Side community center offers a wide range of cultural events, educational programs and fitness facilities to like-minded folks in the neighborhood. The Manhattan Jewish Community Center is housed in the Samuel Priest Rose Building on Amsterdam Avenue, and runs eleven stories, with over 137,000 square feet of space. That means an inviting atrium, basement-level performance space and a fitness center complete with a pool – a rarity for New York City. The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery inside hangs an array of exhibits and features accompanying programs, while locals can pick up a season pass to the in-house film center. Classes at the community centers are offered on a wide range of subjects, from printmaking to finance, while swimming lessons, personal training and massages are available in the fitness center.
Since its original founding in the Bronx, ASL Sports has expanded its mission to encompass a huge roster of physical pursuits for individuals and groups. Activities include season-length basketball, softball, flag football, and indoor-soccer leagues for adults of varying skill levels. Additionally, ASL Sports offers fitness programs designed for casual visitors as well as athletes looking to improve upon their game. Dance-based Zumba classes and aerobic workouts elevate heart rates, while Vinyasa yoga places emphasis on breath control and postural alignment. ASL Sports even hosts boot camps that combine calisthenics with body-weight exercises, which build strength, speed, agility, and stamina over time.