About Soccer Bugs

Soccer bugs comes from a love of teaching children confidence, coordination, and the love of learning

History of Soccer Bugs

It’s all about our kids.

When my daughter was born in 2005 my life had changed in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  Kids do that.  When she was born, my partners and I were running indoor sports facilities, and we were training thousands of kids in different sports- mostly soccer.  We hired an amazing Director of Coaching, Pete Morillo, and we had kids playing soccer at age 4.  A ball and a great coach was our philosophy.

But as I watched my daughter work her way through the early childhood development stages, I realized that the way kids learned changed as they grew.  It wasn’t just about the complexity of things, it was literally about how they processed the world.  Children are progressively learning everything- how to walk, talk, handle objects, socialize, and more.  As they learn, their confidence grows, they explore more, and, gradually, they can handle more.

It began with an idea

I met with Pete and my partner Greg Elliott, and we discussed how we could do more for our kids.  We already loved our role in helping children get better at sports.  However, there was  an even bigger opportunity- we had a chance to impact the overall development of our kids in both mind and body.

With this new lens, we rolled up our sleeves and embarked on creating a different program with a curriculum oriented to crucial child development.  We talked to psychologists, teachers, coaches, parents, and did lots of research.

One theme became evident, everything we put together for a child had to be fun.  Kids learn best when they are having fun and engage more when they are playing.  Along with fun, children need repetition to develop confidence.  With confidence, a child will test the limits of their bodies and abilities.  Repetition is also predictable, and predictability creates a safe environment for our children.  A child will shy away if he or she doesn’t feel safe and secure.

So we gathered together as many soccer games, play-ground games, and back-yard games we could find and sifted through them.  We filtered the games through a child development lens, reworked the best of the group, and put them together in a progressive curriculum that would maximize a child’s motor skills, social skills, and cognitive thinking.  We tested our games with the most important critics we had—the kids.  We edited and edited until we got it right.

And this is how Soccer Bugs was formed.

We launched our program in 2010 and have since grown throughout the mid-Atlantic area, providing our unique experience to thousands of children.  Of all the things my partners and I do, this is the most rewarding and important.  Our program is more than a coach and a ball.  It’s a stepping stone in the development of your child.  And a lot of fun too!


~John Burns
Soccer Bugs Director