Children are information sponges. They’re constantly learning from parents, teachers, the environment and each other. Getting involved in any sport can teach them valuable lessons, but there is a reason soccer has worldwide appeal. Whether your children are joining official leagues with matching custom socks or playing with the neighborhood kids in the field down the street, soccer has several benefits for kids of all ages.
Soccer is great exercise. Throughout each game, players are running, jumping and kicking the ball down the field. Every time they play, children are getting vital cardiovascular movement. Running and jumping are weight-bearing exercises, which means they help build bone density in addition to giving muscles a workout. Meshing fitness with play establishes good habits early. It teaches kids that exercise doesn’t have to be a drudgery; it can actually be fun!
Unlike some sports that require specific skills, this game has a place for everyone. Soccer is easy to learn and has a simple scoring system. While there are advanced moves, players can be part of a team even as beginners. Wheelchair leagues incorporate ways to include players of almost every ability, finding ways to make the sport accessible to those who are often left out. Every child wants a sense of belonging, and even off the field, players often wear their team jerseys and custom socks to demonstrate solidarity.
Even in an individualistic society, teamwork is an important part of every stage of life. Soccer teaches children how to work with a team to accomplish a common goal. It also teaches good sportsmanship, which instills values of kindness, grace and humility. Children learn how to play fair and how to respect their fellow players, coaches and officials through mutual rules and boundaries.
Any time children are active, there is the possibility that they will get hurt. Scraped knees, sprained ankles and bruised shins come with the territory. While soccer certainly doesn’t eliminate all risk of injury, it does provide a lower contact alternative to other team sports. Players may collide with each other occasionally, but brute contact isn’t built directly into the structure of the game. For parents who are concerned about the physical risks associated with sports like football or rugby, soccer is a relatively safe option.
Soccer isn’t just a regional sport. Once children learn the game, they have a sport they can play for life. As they reach adulthood, they can likely find a team or league anywhere in the world. No matter where their education or careers end up taking them, they probably will have a local network of people who love the same sport they do. Soccer can become the bridge that helps them get to know each new city they encounter while forging lasting friendships and staying in shape.
There are many activities your children are interested in pursuing where they can learn valuable life skills. Soccer teaches good health, strong values and teamwork. Enroll your children in your local league, dress them in their jerseys and custom socks and watch them become the superstars on and off the field you know they can be.