ISC Lightning Intermediate Training Program - Winter

ISC WINTER Lightning-Intermediate Training Program

(8U-12U Boys and Girls )

Winter 2018-2019

Registration will open on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 6 AM.

Registration is full.  Registration closed in less than one day. 



What age groups are eligible to participate in the ISC Winter Lightning Intermediate Training Program?

8U-All kids born in the year 2011 

9U-All Kids born in the year 2010

10U-All Kids born in the year 2009

11U-All kids born in the year 2008

12U-All kids born in the year 2007


Purpose, Description, And Goals Of The ISC Lightning Program: 

The ISC Lightning program is one of the ISC's intermediate soccer programs.  We designed the ISC Lightning program to provide young soccer players with the appropriate soccer instruction in order to teach the skills necessary to thrive at soccer.  Our goal for the kids who register for the Lightning program is to make sure that all of the kids have fun learning new soccer skills in a healthy and age appropriate environment. Our coaches are expert coaches and they will help the kids grow and improve while still having lots of FUN at every practice.  

The ISC Lightning program is a "training only" program.  The kids receive the appropriate training without having to commit to travel and weekend games.  We provide excellent instruction in the Lightning program and require only a limited time commitment as the program only meets once per week on Wednesdays.  Kids who participate must be willing to actively engage in skill training each week.  We don't require the kids to have any prior soccer experience but this is an intermediate training program and we do require that kids be willing to work on their skill development during each practice.  We promise to provide fun activities in each session and to leave scrimmage time at each practice, but if your child is not motivated to spend part of the practice working on his/her skill development, they might not have fun at this program.  We want all kids and parents to be fully informed of what the practice format is like before they enroll.  If your kids have played in the fall or spring Lightning program, the format is very similar to those practices.

Summary: Practice Program without official games on Wednesday nights.  


Young Soccer Players Need The Best Training Possible:

For players that want to continue to play soccer as they get older, players need to be challenged to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to enjoy the game.  If players don't continue to learn new skills, they won't have fun playing soccer.  Most surveys shows that one of the main reasons children drop out of a sport is due to the lack of appropriate training of the skills which are necessary to continued success in a particular sport.  The 8U-12U age period is a critical period for players to develop the skills necessary to be competent at the game of soccer.  If players do not receive the proper instruction and motivation at these ages or if they are not presented with the appropriate activities at practice, players will miss an important window of time in which they can develop the skills that will allow them to grow with the game.  The Lightning training provides the appropriate training at a lower level of commitment than what we require from our "year round players."

We will have a minimum of 4 expert, adult coaches at each session to maintain a player to coach ratio of 10 to 1. This ratio helps ensure the Lightning particpants receive the appropriate level of training and attention.



Who Is This Program Best Suited For?

Any 8U-12U year old soccer player that enjoys soccer and would like to improve and learn new skills is welcome to join the ISC Lightning.  We do not require that the participants in our ISC Lightning program have played in our recreational/beginner program called the ISC Academy prior to joining the Lightning program.  

Although the ISC Lightning program does teach concepts and skills that are more advanced than what is covered in a typical recreational program, the program is absolutely open to all 8U-12U soccer players  who are willing to learn and be conscientious about their skill development.  We do not want the "Intermediate Label" to scare young players away from the Lightning program.  Our coaches understand that everyone has to start somewhere.  The most important quality that we are looking for in the players is that they want to improve and grow and that they are prepared to listen and learn.   Our coaches will welcome your child regardless of their past experience in the game.  Our expert coaches and teachers understand that every child develops at different rates and times.  We are a child- centered organization dedicated to the development of all young soccer players that possess the desire to improve and have fun.  

Although we are confident that the ISC Lightning program is excellent preparation for our advanced year round programs, most children aren't thinking about preparing for anything, they just want to have fun.  This program will teach the skills of soccer in a fun way that all kids will find enjoyable, but at the same time, parents should feel comfortable knowing that we will be preparing your kids to move on to higher levels within the ISC or elsewhere if your child chooses to continue with the sport of soccer.  


Summary Of The Goals For The Program: What Will Players Get Out Of Participation In The Program? 

  • Fun

  • Exercise

  • Social Development

  • Soccer Skills Development (Under the direction of expert and experienced coaches)

  • Athletic Development under the direction of expert and experienced coaches

  • Foundation necessary to thrive at the game of soccer


ISC Lightning Start Dates                                                                                                   

We have three sessions of the ISC Lightning Program each year.

Fall-Session I -Runs from August through October.

Winter- Session II -Runs from November through the first part of March. 

Spring-Session III-Runs from April through the first part of June.

You can register separately for each session through our online registration process found on this page.

We only accept online registration and payment online for the Lightning Program.  If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch through the school system we may be able to provide partial financial assistance for your child to participate in this program.  For more information on how to receive financial assistance, please contact our administrator at The amount of financial assistance is limited and is need-based.


How Many Players Can We Accept For The Winter 2018-2019 Training Program?

We will accept only 40 players for the Winter 2018-2019 ISC Lightning program.

Accepting 40 players helps us maintain an appropriate player to coach ratio of 10 to 1.

We will group players appropriately based on their age group and development.


Why Do We Limit The Number Of Players Accepted For Each Group In This Program?

For players 8U-12U, the number of coaches per player needs to be greater than we would need with players 13U and older.  We feel that for the youngest ages that the player to coach ratio needs to be better than we would need with older players due to the attention span of young children and due to the stage of devolpment in terms of cognitive, social, and motor development.  In order for the kids to get adequate attention and to receive the proper instruction we need to cap the numbers that we can accept for this program.    

The Iowa Soccer Club was started in 1997 to provide expert soccer coaches for ALL of our soccer programs.  Whether your child plays in our recreational, intermediate, or advanced programs, our goal is to provide the best and most experienced coaches.  We take great pride and we devote considerable resources and time to hire, train, and develop coaches who are qualified to work with young soccer players.  Too many sports organizations put very little emphasis on the youngest players, in the ISC we believe that the youngest players need excellent coaching.  We demand a high standard of teaching and coaching from our professional staff in order to ensure a positive and healthy experience that is developmentally appropriate for the Lightning kids.

Our Director of Coaching is Jon Cook.   It is his responsibility to ensure that all ISC programs offer only the highest quality of coaching and teaching.  Jon holds the United States Soccer Federation "A" License and the USSF National Youth Diploma.  He also earned his master's degree in Education from the University of Iowa.  He has been in charge of all of our programs for the past 20 years.  

Age Requirements:

If Your Child is older than 12U, and you want Them Signed Up For An Intermediate Or Advanced ISC Program, Please Contact The ISC Coaching Director, Jon Cook, At Jon.Cook@Iowasoccerclub.Com.

Cost For Program                                                                                                                 

$240 Per Player

Your Fee Covers the Following:

1) Professional Coaching for 16 Practices. 

(All sessions follow our well established "Head Start" Developmental Soccer Program that our coaching Director, Jon Cook and his assistant, Colin Crichton, have developed and refined over the past 20 years working with youth soccer players.  It takes expert coaching to keep the soccer training fun and also educational and developmental.  With the ISC Lightning Program, your kids will have fun but they will also be challenged to develop the skills necessary to thrive at soccer if soccer is a sport they choose to pursue when they get older.)

2) ISC Lightning T-shirt

3) Indoor Futsal Soccer Ball

Please note, the fee is much higher per practice for the ISC Winter Lightning program due to indoor rental facility costs at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.


ISC Lightning Refund Policy

Due to the fact that we limit the number of children that we accept for Lightning, refunds are only issued on a limited basis for the reasons listed below:

1) Your family moves out of town prior to the start of the Lightning, but after you have registered.

2) Your child is injured prior to the start of the Lightning and they cannot participate in any part of the program.

Duration Of The 2018-2019 ISC Winter Lightning Program

November-Through early March 
(One practice per week on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:45 PM.)

Number of Winter 2018-2019 ISC Lightning Sessions:

16 Sessions 

All Sessions are 75 minutes long.

Practice Schedule 


November 2018-November 7, 14, 28

December 2018-December 5, 12, 19

January 2019-January 9, 16, 23, 30

February 2019-February 6, 13, 20, 27

March 2019 -March 6, 13


Practice Times:

Practices will run from 5:30 PM to 6:45 pm. 

Given the high demand of this program, we ask that each family considers whether or not they can arrive on time to practice on a regular basis.  We understand that kids will be late, but if you believe that your work schedule prohibits you from getting your child to practice on time on a regular basis, we ask that you reconsider registering your child for the program at this time as there are limited spots and you will be taking a spot away from someone else who could get their child there regularly.   

Practice Locations: 

November - March:  Practices during the months of November through March will be held INDOORS at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex (HTRC) located at 2820  Prairie Meadow Drive on the west side of Iowa City. Practices will be held on the Hawkeye Turf which can be accessed by entering the south entrance of the HTRC.  CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF THE HTRC


Registration for the Winter 2018-2019 ISC Lightning Program will open on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 6 AM.  


We DO NOT accept walk-up registration!  You must register online.  

Register for the age group based on your chilld's birth year.  The youngest age group that we accept for the Lightning program is 8U.  Kids born in 2011 are 8U players.  The oldest age group that we accept for the Lightning program is 12U.  Kids born in 2007 are 12U players.  The age range for Lightning is 8U-12U.  


We have limited spaces available.  Registration for the program will close when we reach our maximum registration numbers.   We do not have the flexibility to add more players once we reach our maximum numbers due to the space that we have available for indoor practices and we CANNOT go beyond 40 players.

  • We will only accept 40 players total.
  • Ratio of Players to Expert, Adult Coaches: 10 to 1.


This year I believe registration will fill up in a few hours.    Please contact  the ISC Director of Coaching, Jon Cook, at to put your child's name on the wait list and to inquire as to what other options you might have for your child if you register after the program is full.