Upper 90 Soccer + Sport’s kicking quartermasters keep teams World Cup–ready with a wide assortment of jerseys, T-shirts, footwear, and accessories from classic brands including Adidas, Nike, and Puma. Strike fear into futbol hearts in a pair of punishing Nike Mercurial Victory II shoes ($60.00), or protect the foot's sensitive upstairs neighbors with Brine Triumph G8 shin guards ($40.00). A New York Cosmos jersey ($79.99) swears torsos to old-school allegiances, harkening back to the days when Pelé roamed the pitch and Franz Beckenbauer moonlighted as a dancer at Studio 54. Keep high-stepping legs cool in the Puma Attaccante Women's Shorts ($18.70), or shield hamstrings from the elements with a pair of the Nike Rio II men's warm-up pants ($35).
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.
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.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.
Kick & Play's family-friendly classes help tots 12–24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. Pintsize players and their progenitors can enroll in the Kick & Play program for four weeks of fun summer classes in July or August. 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. Developing toddlers will learn to balance, run, kick, play, and aerate soil during noncompetitive activities. Classes are 40 minutes if playful dribblers don't hide their coach's stopwatch.