Soccer develops agility, speed and stamina, and also teaches children the importance of teamwork, so it can play an important part in your child’s physical and social development. Many communities offer soccer leagues for a variety of ages and skill levels. Choose a soccer league that matches your child’s needs. If you are unsure which league is best, talk to some team coaches to see if they are a good match for your child.
Soccer players need to be fit and agile. Most games require children to sprint after the ball and jog up and down the field, which are activities that build endurance and speed. Dribbling and shooting the ball develops agility and coordination. The health benefits of active sports such as soccer include stronger bones and muscles, decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and decreased chance of becoming overweight, according to Kids Health from Nemours. The organization also points out that aerobic exercise causes the heart to beat faster. When aerobic exercise occurs regularly, it “strengthens the heart and improves the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.”
Builds Social Skills
Playing with a soccer team develops a child’s ability to cooperate and interact with other children. To win a soccer game, the whole team must communicate and work together. Defensive positions must support the midfield and offensive positions during attacks on the opponents’ goal. Offensive positions must return to their own goal to help the defensive positions when they are under pressure from the other team. To move the ball up the field, players pass the ball, which requires communicating. These types of cooperative activities develop a child’s social abilities. Children who play soccer develop self-confidence and improved social skills.
Develops Good Self-Image
Since soccer has an emphasis on the success of the team as a whole, rather than the success of individual players, it is a sport that less athletically inclined children will enjoy. Compared to such team sports as baseball, which requires players to bat or field a ball alone, soccer puts less pressure on children. Soccer encourages teamwork and communication, which allows a child to identify personally with team successes, rather than feel a need to outperform teammates to gain recognition.