Four Life Lessons that Children Learn in Soccer
Have you ever considered getting your child involved in soccer training? We know what you’re thinking. The stereotypical soccer mom thing with the minivan and the sliced oranges isn’t for you. You have eleventy things to do at all times; you are ready to spend every night and weekend at soccer practices and games with a bunch of crazy-eyed parents who have a little too much stock riding on their child’s ability to get a full ride to college on their soccer skills. We don’t want that life for you either.
However, soccer training it really good for a child’s development. Whether you just get them involved in soccer summer camps or join full-time youth soccer leagues, when your kids learn how to play soccer, they’re learning so much more:
- Good sportsmanship carries over into the real world.
Sometimes your kid will win their soccer game, but sometimes they’ll lose. The fact is, every single soccer game that is ever played involves a winner and a loser. Not only will your child most likely lose from time-to-time, it’s actually really good for them to taste the bittersweet flavor of defeat.
In the real world, no person will ever win 100% of the time. If they never play a sport in their lives, they’ll score poorly on a test every now and again. They might not get chosen for a school play. They might work up the nerve to ask someone out on a date, only to be turned down. These are normal, every-day occurrences. What matters is that your child knows that first of all, their personal value isn’t wrapped up in always winning, and second of all, they’re able to take defeat with grace and continue thriving in life.
When your child goes through soccer training, they have a chance to learn good sportsmanship and how to lose with their head held high. Learning sportsmanship in a recreational setting like soccer training isn’t as demoralizing as inevitably learning it through the real world.
- Soccer helps children gain a mindset of tolerance and acceptance.
Soccer is the most widely-participated sport in the world. Some estimates suggest that nearly one-half of humankind participates in soccer, either by playing the sport or spectating it. Soccer transcends all walks of life, cultures, religious beliefs, and financial backgrounds. When your child participates in soccer, they have a common interest with one-half of the people in the world.
This common bond helps a child realize that even though other might look different, follow different customs, or hold different beliefs, they have things in common as well. It gives children a venue in which they’ll make friends with people they’d never cross paths with otherwise. When your child bonds with people who are different than them, it gives them an accepting point of view, which will help them have empathy and tolerance for others throughout their lives.
- Soccer helps kids develop healthy lifestyles.
Studies show that one in every two kids does not enough exercise. In the “plugged in” world we live in, it is far easier for a child to spend their entire day in front of the TV, or playing video games, or developing carpel tunnel syndrome from their cell phones than being in the sunshine and developing their muscles, like they desperately need to. Soccer training gives children a fun and engaging way to not only get exercise, but to learn to love getting exercise.
Throughout a soccer game, a child will run, jump, sprint, and work their muscles for a full 90 minutes. Not only is that 90 minutes that they aren’t sitting in front of a screen, it also teaches them that physical fitness is fun. A lesson that will benefit them all of their life.
- Soccer develops the analytical part of the brain.
Soccer isn’t just about running around for 90 minutes. In order to be successful at soccer, one must use strategy. The speed of the ball, the angle in which it should be kicked in order to reach the intended target, the process of maneuvering to bypass opposing players are all analytically-driven skills that a child develops in soccer training. Developing problem solving skills helps a child in school and beyond.
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