Getting young kids into soccer is a fantastic way to help them develop physically, socially, and mentally.
Here are some recommendations, based on my experience as a soccer father. Even though not complete, hopefully it will be a good guideline or outline into getting your kids into soccer.
- Make it Fun: At a young age, enjoyment is the key to continued interest. Play soccer with them, make up fun games, or have small family matches. Probably one of the most enjoyable moments. Had a good chance to meet some of the soccer dads. At first you just keep to your own space, but eventually you meet another parent in the same place. Friends!
- Join a Local Team: Look for local soccer leagues or teams that cater to young children. These teams often focus on teaching the basics of the game in a fun, low-pressure environment.
- Soccer Camps: Consider enrolling your child in a soccer camp, where they can improve their skills and make new friends who share their interest. I was actually amazed at how players on my daughters soccer team we’re returning players. It takes time to learn how to play.
- Equipment: Get them excited by purchasing basic soccer gear, like a suitable soccer ball, comfortable athletic clothing, and cleats. One of the first areas we tackled was what items did we need to provide our kids with the basics? Luckily I wrote an article here on what equipment is needed for kids soccer. We started off with a soccer ball, like most kids. But when the timing was right, we upgraded obtained a portable goal. One of the best soccer equipment purchases you can make.
- Encourage Practice: Set up a small goal in the yard or a safe space where they can practice. Regular play enhances skill and love for the game. Getting that goal! and I’m going to do a shameless product plug, When you need a goal, you need a goal (or 2, if needed)!
- Be Supportive: Show interest in their development, celebrate their efforts, and encourage them without putting pressure. No matter win or lose, there is always family time and good treats.
- Watch Soccer Games Together: This can be a fun way to learn by watching professionals and developing an understanding of the game.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Teach the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and physical fitness, as part of their soccer training. Exercising early in the day and running around on the soccer field helps bring a new dimension to your kids’ health regimen. I’ve seen it first hand, and it is always encouraging when your child applies the know ledge
Kids Into Soccer For The Right Reasons
Remember, the goal for young kids is to enjoy the game and develop a love for sport, rather than intense competition.
How this is accomplished? As a dad I remember wanted my daughter to score a goal so bad in my head. You want the other kids to score too, But what you really want is your child to score, and in the end play like a well polished team. The reality is kids enjoy just being on a team.
Also, having the equipment at home help them to build their confidence can really help. That’s why I got the ball and goal (and I didn’t know about a practice dummy, until it came into our store inventory!)
Hopefully these suggestions should get you off to a good start and help your child or children enjoy the sport to the fullest. I understand as a parent any practical tips are always welcomed, and now just passing it along. Best of luck everyone
Carlo St. Juste II, MAOM has a background in acupuncture with over 10 years of clinical experience and over 16 years in the Martial Arts. He has worked with various organizations to implement employee wellness programs including The City of West Covina, The City of Brea, Broadcom, USC, American Suzuki, and Pomona College. He is dedicated to promoting integrative health and has seen the benefits of knowledge and implementation first hand.