Since 1983, the program has basically stayed the same. With parents and relatives of our players becoming volunteer coaches and Board Members to help administer a program that serves approximately 700-800, youth annually. Thunder Soccer offers three seasons of soccer, including Fall, Spring and Indoor/Winter. This year, Thunder Soccer is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of providing a quality youth soccer program to the youth in our community. It is estimated that over 10,000 children have played in the Thunder Soccer program since 1983.
Players may register and pay for each season separately, allowing players to play other sports of interest to them. Thunder Soccer is a proud member of the Illinois Youth Soccer Association (IYSA) located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. In March 2009, Thunder Soccer was named the “2008 Youth Soccer Club of the Year” for the State of Illinois by IYSA.
We are seeking the talents of parents and program participants to assume Board Positions and responsibilities. Help us continue to provide a youth soccer program that annually serves over 700+ kids in our community.
The Thunder Board is hoping to fill the vacancies of the following positions with a brief explanation of the position duties:
- Vice President – Responsible for managing the program’s database and conducting the seasonal search and negotiations for a photographer. Oversee and manage “Photo Day” sessions during each season. Coordinate delivery of photos to our program participants.
- Secretary – Coordinates with local schools to assure promotional information/fliers are distributed to the schools. Coordinates with local schools and Park Districts to assure that field/facility permits are obtained for practices, games and meetings.
- Head Coach – Responsible for recruiting all volunteer seasonal coaches; for maintaining communication throughout the season/year with the coaches and coordinating a pre-season Coaching Clinic for our volunteer coaches, with the local High School.
- Equipment Manager – Responsible for transporting all goals and field equipment (flags, canopies, etc.) to the fields each Sunday morning for games and returning to the fields in the afternoon to return the same equipment to the Storage facility after the games are completed. Required to maintain the storage facility in an organized, orderly and clean appearance throughout the season. Maintains a current inventory of field and program equipment. Coordinate during the pre-season with other Board members to prepare the equipment for distribution to the coaches. This position requires that the volunteer has the use of a truck or van capable of transporting youth goals and other equipment to the fields weekly.
Thunder Soccer 2013
Registration for the 2013 Spring season is closed and the outdoor season kicked off on Sunday, April 7th.
Players and Coaches enjoy two one-hour practices a week (on Tuesdays & Thursdays) with games on Sundays at East or West Leyden High School, depending on the season. That’s 24 hours of soccer with supplemental insurance on each player through IYSA, a uniform, trophy, game award and a free player photo package. The Early–Bird fee is only $65 per player with discounts for siblings. Regular registration is $90 per player.
The Thunder program offers kids an opportunity to play soccer in a non-competitive recreational setting. Team standings are not maintained and the names of goal-scorers are not posted. Coaches are encouraged to maintain a low-pressure style of coaching. Everyone plays different positions during every game where the “Win at all cost attitude” is discouraged. However, sometime during the season, each player will be named “Player of the Game” and their names will appear in our weekly Newsletter the “Thunderbolt”. Additionally, on the final Sunday of each outdoor season, the players receive a trophy and coaches recognize each player for their play over the 8-game season on what has become known as “Trophy Sunday”. Thunder Soccer also offers a competitive Travel Team program competing against other suburban clubs in the Young Sportsman’s Soccer League (YSSL) of the Women’s Illinois Soccer League (WISL). Tryouts are scheduled in early June.
The national popularity of the World’s game is helping to grow the Thunder program. Registrations take a jump each season after Soccer’s World Cup. For example, in 2001, Thunder was averaging 175 players per season. In the past 5 years, Thunder has had no less than 300 players during any single outdoor season.
With 22-24 teams, 6 practice fields and 330-360 players, Thunder is still able to assure parents that all of their children will practice at the same weekday practice location. All practice fields are within 2 miles of either East or West Leyden High Schools. Thunder does not charge an out-of-district fee, everyone pays the same amount.
Thunder Soccer continues to work cooperatively with the local High School Coaches. Thunder offers a pre-season Coaching Clinic to help to prepare our new coaches for their responsibilities of conducting twice-weekly practices. Thunder also sponsors a “Summer Skills Camp” during the first week of June, after the final spring games. The Camp is conducted by Leyden’s Head Soccer Coach and volunteer players from Leyden’s Boys & Girls Varsity teams. Participants get two hours of soccer camp per night for five days and a soccer ball and T-shirt as part of the Camp fee. Registration for the Summer Skills Camp is on-going through the spring season.
Thunder continues to promote Soccer in the surrounding community by sponsoring a Chicago Fire outing each outdoor season offering discounted tickets to our families, to get them out to see a professional soccer match.
Monthly Board meetings are held (during the season) on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM at the Franklin Park Community Center, 9650 West Franklin Avenue, Franklin Park.
Volunteer Coaches are needed to work with our players on skills development in weekly practices and Sunday games. Training for Coaches is available and an early-season Coaches Clinic will be provided. This is a great opportunity for parents, new to the game of soccer or new to coaching to learn about the game while helping teach skills and conduct drills during weekly practices. Volunteers may contact our Coach Coordinator, Esther Rodriguez at 847.233.0858 about coaching opportunities. Parents don’t miss the chance to enjoy some fun time together with your child.
Thunder Soccer Travel Teams compete against other suburban teams in the area and play in the Young Sportsman’s Soccer League (YSSL) or the Women’s Illinois Soccer League (WISL). For information about the program and tryouts contact Miguel Valdez at (847) 233.9176. Tryouts for the fall traveling teams will be conducted on Sunday, June 3. To pre-register for the tryouts contact Miguel Valdez.
For more information contact Wayne Bernacki at 847.671.0330 or Miguel Valdez at 847.233.9176.