Growing Lil’ Kickers at TSC, One Goal at a Time

Posted On September 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm by / No Comments

Growing Lil’ Kickers at TSC, One Goal at a Time

With a mission to enhance the overall growth and well-being of children through the game of soccer, the Lil’ Kickers program was a perfect fit for Total Sports Complex. When the program was introduced at TSC in the winter of 2005, there were only a hand-full of participants, but after one year (winter through fall) program enrollment had reached over 400 between the four sessions.

Over the years, the Total Sports Lil’ Kickers program has seen an overall continued growth including its expansion to two other active TSC facilities and another slated to open this October. This growth can largely be attributed to the newest Director of the program, Leah Ross. Heading into her fourth year at the helm, Ross takes pride in the quality of and direction in which the program is heading.

While mailers, promotions, attending school Field Days, and providing Lil’ Kickers field trips surely help the program, their impact is secondary. By far the greatest asset and contributor to the growth of Lil’ Kickers is the staff, from Ross to the coaches. In her tenure, Ross has sought (and found) quality and committed coaches to add to those who have been with the program for years, and has created a work environment her staff enjoys. They have created an organized, well run, and welcoming program and environment for kids and parents alike. And it is their caring about and communication with the Lil’ Kicker families that continue to grow the program.

Parents enjoy and value seeing the same coaches each session. It provides a needed consistency for young kids, allowing them to bond with their coaches over the course of multiple sessions.

When Ms. Ross took over in 2011 there were roughly 300 kids involved in each of the winter and spring sessions at the Novi facility, those same sessions for 2013/14 had enrollment of about 500 kids each (700 between the three facilities). When adding the fall and summer sessions, Lil’ Kickers at Total Sports has served almost 1,500 kids from winter 2013/14 through this fall session; compared to the 424 the first year of the program.

Total Sports has one of the largest programs in the Great Lakes area, operating three of the seven programs currently offered in Michigan. With the addition of a facility in Monroe, Total Sports will represent half of the then eight program locations in the state. The Lil’ Kickers franchise has 100 locations in 27 states and provinces, and Total Sports proudly boasts one of the top ten retention rates in the country.

The best part of being involved in Lil’ Kickers? Says Ross,
Seeing the growth of the kids. It’s common for kids to be apprehensive their first class, clinging to their parents and not wanting to go on the field. But throughout the session seeing their confidence increase, loving their classes, making friends. And seeing those same kids remain involved in the program years later.

The growth in confidence and greater well-being of kids is the goal of this program, and of Total Sports.

For more information about the Lil’ Kickers program at Total Sports, you can visit the Lil’ Kickers page on the Total Sports website, call any of the three TSC locations with Lil’ Kickers, or contact Director Leah Ross at


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