For young children just starting in soccer, the focus should be on basic equipment that facilitates learning and enjoyment of the game. Here’s a list of essential gear:
- Soccer Ball: Ensure you get the right size for your child’s age group. For young children, a size 3 ball is typically recommended. As they grow, you can progress to larger sizes.
- Cleats (Soccer Shoes): Soccer-specific cleats or shoes provide better traction on the field. For children, comfort and proper fit are crucial to avoid foot discomfort.
- Shin Guards: These are essential for protection during practice and games, helping to shield the shins from kicks and stray balls.
- Comfortable Athletic Clothing: For practices, comfortable athletic wear that doesn’t restrict movement is ideal. This can include shorts, t-shirts, and soccer socks that cover the shin guards.
- Goalkeeper Gloves (if interested in playing goalie): These provide grip and protect the hands during saves. For young children exploring different positions, having gloves can be exciting.
- Water Bottle / Juice : Hydration is key, so always have a water bottle available during practices and games.
- Soccer Bag: A dedicated bag makes it easy to keep all soccer gear together and transport it to and from practices and games.
- Portable Goals/Cones (optional): For practice at home, having portable soccer goals or cones for dribbling drills can be beneficial.
Remember, at a young age, the emphasis should be on enjoyment and learning the basics. The equipment should facilitate this experience without being overly expensive or professional-grade. As they develop a deeper interest or if they start playing more competitively, additional gear might be necessary. Always check with your child’s coach or league for any specific equipment requirements.
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.