As parents, you should always want the best for your children and getting them involved in something fun and physically active is a great way to do so! Soccer is one of America’s favorite sports and its offered in almost every school and community center across the country. Not to mention soccer clubs. It’s a fantastic way to get your kids out of the house and socializing with others their own age! If your child’s a little bit hesitant, don’t worry, you have options!
Before introducing your child to soccer, there are some factors to consider to determine if your child is ready to participate in an organized program. If unprepared, it is best to play soccer in the backyard with their dear old parents and friends for fun. Here are a few things to consider:
- Interest of Your Kid
Every child is unique in their own way. For example, you may have one exceptionally athletic or musical child. Another child may be more interested in theater or film. Encourage your child to try new things and see what works best for them and if they are showing an interest in soccer, well you’re already ahead of the game. However, if they’re not showing interest, or they are but they seem timid, it’s beneficial to discuss this with them and see what’s holding them back.
- Are they Social and Physically Active?
Soccer is a physically demanding sport regardless of the age of the child. It’s a sport that requires stamina, a loud voice, and the ability to run for at least half the game. You’ll want to ensure your child feels ready to take on that challenge. Signing them up for soccer or even introducing it to them from afar when they aren’t in that state of mind themselves, will simply deter them!
- Are They Capable of Listening to a Coach?
The younger your child is, the more difficult it can be to gain and keep their attention. Is your child able to listen to and follow the rules of the game and adhere to guidelines set by their coach? If you think they may struggle with this, it’s best to practice this skill at home first and then see if the skill transfer to the soccer field!
How Do You Introduce Your Child to Soccer?
Before looking at a soccer program for your child who has shown interest, you need to prepare them for what’s to come! Introducing your child to the sport is also beneficial for kids who are a little nervous about the new activity, let’s talk about the best ways to introduce soccer to your kiddo!
- Buy a Ball and Start Playing
Purchase a new soccer ball for the child, most likely wrapped as a special gift. That is the first step in introducing soccer to your child. Because everything in the sport revolves around the ball, it is an excellent way to introduce any child of any age to the game.
- Learn the Basics
The very next step is to learn the fundamentals of the game. Passing, running with the ball at their feet, proper kicking, these are all fundamentals of the game. By teaching them the fundamentals, your child won’t feel so thrown in when they do join a team!
- Invest in Equipment
When your child has mastered the fundamentals of soccer, you can accelerate their development by investing in some training equipment. Cleats, shin guards, training cones, and other items should be purchased.
- Improve their Fitness
Having your child improve their stamina and fitness will undoubtedly benefit them in maintaining their performance levels throughout their fun soccer games.
- Play with Others
If at all possible, inviting or visiting peers to play together is a good idea. This will not only help them improve their skills, particularly their teamwork, but it will also assist them in developing relationships with their peers. If they don't have friends or neighbors who share their interest, their siblings or you should always join them when they practice.
- Keep Practicing
It is critical to encourage your child to continue practicing in order to improve their soccer skills. The better their skills, the more likely they will succeed at a football club. You could plan exercise repetitions that would lead to their continued development.
- Join a Soccer Academy or Camp
Enrolling your child in a soccer camp is the final step in introducing them to soccer. These camps are held year round and they help children refine their skills in a positive and nurturing environment. They are exposed to competition and qualified coaching there.
Consider signing up for a free Camps With Friends account online OR you can also download our app from the app store.
It can be challenging to introduce your child to soccer if they aren’t showing interest themselves, but your first step is just to determine their reason. What about soccer intimidates them? How can you help them get past those blocks? Then you can show them how much fun they could have with their friends if they do join a local team! Make sure you enroll them in a soccer camp near you that is geared towards newbies. This will show them exactly what to expect and reduce any anxiety! Happy kicking!