If your kids viewed the World Cup and suddenly want to play soccer, you may be thinking to prepare them started in the game. Great idea—because apart from being the joy to play, soccer is one of the solid games for developing kids’ physical literacy. But where should you start? It depends on the age of your kid. Here is an age-wise guide on how to get started with soccer.
Important things need to know about how to get started with soccer
Preschoolers ages 3-5 years
If your kid is only 3-5 years old, it’s best to play at home as parent and child. Preschoolers don’t require to have uniforms and club affiliations, and in fact, they are generally entirely avoided at this period as they introduce far more structure that may be healthy for fundamental research and learning (and fun).
You probably find that your child is plenty happy to kick the ball around alone with you. Apart from being developmentally appropriate, it can be the excellent bonding time for you and your child. And you don’t want to be an accomplished player—just a willing participant!
By playing one-on-one with your kid, they get to touch the ball further, and that’s what they need. It isn’t wrong or selfish of them—it is a natural feature of the healthy child growing to be “selfish” at this age. And there are genuine reasons why nature makes children that way. Early motor learning needs lots of repetitive action, and this doesn’t appear when your kid plays on a team and touches the ball once each 5 minutes.
How can you play at the house? Merely found a couple of small goals using plastic buckets or other found objects as goal posts, and support your child to dribble around you and shoot. Give them minimum resistance as a “defender” and let them have game scoring. You can also try out our natural activities for indoor balloon soccer, kicking side foot, and soccer dribbling.
Children ages 5-7 years
This is a sensitive age where you need to know your child. If the children have already been playing at school, or they have developed some necessary experience with soccer at home, and they are requesting to play soccer, then they are more than possible ready to register with your regional youth soccer association. However, if they have small or no experience in soccer, and if they look unusually shy or tentative in an organization setting, it might be excellent to sign up for an early soccer program at a local community recreation center.
Recreation programs serve to place far less emphasis on competition and more focus on entertainment and essential learning for novices. And after your kid has explored soccer through a recreation program, they will provide you with a bright idea of whether or not they need to register at a youth soccer club and continue in the game.
Kids ages 7-12 years
By this age, if your kid is expressing interest in soccer, you should look at registering them with your regional youth soccer association. In all probability, they have played a bit during the break at school, or with friends in the neighborhood, and they have a great idea of what they are getting into. A local club setting should give them with quality skills training and the best experience in the sport.
Before you register, check out our summary of quality soccer programs, and review how your local youth club compares. Also, watch the best video from the Ontario Soccer Association that outlines the original plans and coaching knowledge for Long Term Player Development (LTPD) in children’s soccer. At these early ages, the emphasis should be mostly on getting soccer skills, and not so much on regular league competition and trophies.
Soccer is an outstanding game for kids, even if they need to play at a recreational level. It is one of the right sports for developing all-around physical literacy, and it develops friendships, teamwork, and the lifetime love of play.