So your kids wants to play soccer – here is some general survival tips on what to watch for in today’s world of kids soccer. Their is more to Soccer than simply buying the Messi or Shinji Ono Jersey. Kids soccer is different than playing adult soccer that you see on TV or at a live match, your participation is an important factor is just as important as the kids
When I was a kid growing up, I never played soccer. My school, which was located in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, offered two winter sports – Aussie rules football and field hockey. I took up hockey, so my exposure to soccer was very limited. So fast forward 30 odd years , so when my son wanted to play Soccer with his friends in a local team, it was my introduction to the sport they call soccer and the soccer community. Here are some of the things that I have observed.
- Community – the local club is a community run by Mum and Dads just like you and me. So adjust your expectations accordingly. Don’t blame the manager, coach, committee – they are just volunteers giving up their time. As part of a community expect the odd volunteer day like being aground official for a day, bringing oranges or working the BBQ.
- Small Sided Football (SSF)– young kids played modified soccer – smaller fields, goals and less players, the modified format has its its own format and rules (my next blog). For example – the pitch , the ball and goals are modified sizes, rules about scoring etc. Generally kids play SSF until they get to under 12.
- “For the Love of the Game”– It is a cliche, but it is the single most important aspect of soccer. The kid’s love of the game will dictate their dedication and application and you cannot make your kid love the game, stand back enough for you kid to they will find the love of the game (if it is there). This is such an important aspect in Soccer that it is a common theme worldwide – in fact it was the title for 2010 World Cup Song.
- Enjoyment – There is nothing more enjoyable than watching your kid play soccer and it is very exciting for both players and family
- Behaviour – Parents on-field behaviour is very important and must be learned by the parents and family. Passion can take over and screaming out instructions or showing disappointment can have an impact on the kids enjoyment
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