OK, so your kid wants to play soccer and you are wondering what are the benefits of playing soccer? I came up with a list below that I am sure will convince you to support your kid.
Soccer has grown popular in the US and according to Statista 2017/2018 reports, there are more than 800 thousand boys and girls playing in high school soccer. I guess the number will continue to increase in 2019 and beyond. Surely the popularity will trickle down to the kindergarten and primary schools level.
Please note that all team sports have the same benefits described below. If your kid is not into soccer maybe basketball will do.
Let’s dive deep into the game of soccer so that we understand what kind of physical and mental activities are involved.
A soccer team is made up of 5 players (can be more or less) and the ultimate aim is to score goals against the opponent. Each team will have a goalkeeper that keeps away opponents from scoring.
It is a strategy game where each team will try to outplay each other through passing of the ball, running for space, tackle, jump to catch the ball, and scoring a goal. A soccer game can be intensive for the duration of the game which can be 15 to 20 minutes depending on the kid’s age group.
All the players are involved in the game and there is very little “rest” on the field as the ball never stops rolling unless it is out of play. In some circumstances, the referee may pause the game for a brief rest.
Here is a list of health benefits of playing soccer:
1. TV And Screen Time Is Harmful
Your kid will spend more time outdoors than inside the house. It means less time on TV, video games, tablet, and other mobiles devices. This causes cognitive, language, social, and emotional delays. Plus other negative issues such as sleep impairment.
2. Cardiovascular Fitness
Increased physical fitness strengthens the heart and lungs to become stronger and efficient. A strong heart reduces the risk of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Creating the habit of exercise and fitness will lead to healthy adult life to combating heart diseases. It is also noted that kids who are fit did well in school compared to kids who don’t.
3. Strong Bones
A physically fit kid will develop strong bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When a kid has a habit of regularly exercising it increased bone mass which helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition where the bone loses density and become fragile.
4. Improved Social Skills
As your kid interacts with other kids they will build trust, forge a friendship, develop leadership skills, cooperation, and teamwork. These are essential skills that your kid can master and apply it in his adult life and career.
Soccer drills and training improve agility, balance, coordination, and speed (ABCs). These are an important development for your kid.
Agility is the ability to change and control the direction and position of the body while maintaining a constant, rapid motion. For example, when a goalkeeper trying to stop a ball from a very close range shot.
Balance is the ability to control or stabilize the body when a person is standing still or moving. For example, when a player dribbles the ball and feints a movement to evade the opponent.
Coordination is the ability to use the senses together with body parts during movement. For example, dribbling the ball or a goalkeeper catching the ball. In soccer, it is more than just hands-eyes coordination, the player will use any part of his body and his eyes.
Speed is the ability to move your body or parts of your body swiftly. Soccer relies on speed to gain an advantage over your opponents. For example, a soccer player outrunning the defense to receive a pass.
6. Relieved Stress In Kids
Yes, kids also carry stress just like adults due to homework or boredom. Physical activity like soccer produces endorphins a feel-good neurotransmitter which reduces stress and the person started feeling positive. This also improved sleeping and concentration.
As you can see soccer training can be very beneficial to your kid, and yourself if you participate.
The health benefits will help your kids in their adult lives because they develop habits such as regular exercise and better social skills. Spending too much time on TV or mobile devices has far more unhealthy consequences for your child.
Read about 5 Fun Soccer Warm Up Drills (and Warm Down) here
Please leave a comment if you have any questions.