Travel to any country around the world and chances are high that you’ll quickly spot a group of kids running around with a soccer ball. (In fact not just kids - grown ups too!). The sport is incredibly popular, with over 265 million players actively involved according to FIFA’s last Big Count survey. In the US, soccer is the third most played team sport behind only basketball and baseball, with over 13 million Americans playing regularly.
Soccer is a great first sport for children for a variety of reasons, and fairly cheap to boot. There’s very little equipment needed - a soccer ball and some cleats is really all that it takes to get started. Simple!
But why is soccer such a great sport for kids to get involved with? Here we run through some of the top reasons
1.Soccer promotes health and fitness
Childhood obesity is on the rise in the USA and an easy way to combat this is to find a physical activity that doesn’t feel like work for kids - the younger the age that they take it up, the better. An exciting game like soccer is fun, but it also serves as great exercise that improves cardiovascular health, sharpens reflexes and coordination, and improves strength and flexibility. Playing soccer doesn’t never feels like work or a chore, so everyone wins.
2.Soccer teaches teamwork and builds friendships
Soccer is a very inclusive sport; great for boys and girls of all ages. No matter what age you’re looking to get your child started, you’ll probably be able to find a league to accommodate players in that age group. And with joining a team comes the potential for built-in friendships. As members of a team, children learn important skills like working with others, how to be a good sport and win (or lose) with grace, how to communicate in different ways both on the field and off, and how to work with others in a healthy manner, whether it’s during practice or games. Lifelong relationships are begun and cultivated on the soccer field every day.
3.It’s an inexpensive hobby
Soccer is a cheap sport to get started with, with very little equipment needed - at the end of the day, if you’ve got a ball and a little space, you can still get moving. Unlike sports such as football, which calls for pads and helmets, or tennis with its racquets, soccer doesn’t require much of anything in the way of speciality equipment. Simple for the players, cheap for the parents.
4.Soccer boosts self-esteem and builds confidence
Putting in the hours of practice to become good at a sport can really boost a child’s confidence and build up their self-esteem. Constantly learning new skills, perfecting old ones, and finding success as an individual and as a team is a great way to foster a sense of pride in one’s self.
5.It’s just plain fun!
Surely this is one of the most important aspects! Soccer is fun - its worldwide popularity proves the point. Unlike something like say, piano lessons or homework, there’s likely to be no complaining when it comes time to head to soccer practice. Out on the field with their friends, children will find the fun that is often missing in our increasingly sedentary, device-based life.
So there you have it. Fun, positive, healthy activities for kids don’t need to cost an arm and a leg, and the benefits to introducing your child to soccer are plentiful. Investing money into kids’ hobbies can be expensive – but as you can see soccer is an affordable option. Just a ball and some cleats will get your little one off to a strong start – and you can find them for a great price with Sports Direct.