There are many benefits of playing soccer for children, with one of the main ones being to increase their level of fitness and to teach them the importance of regular exercise. Soccer is an aerobic sport, and getting children involved in playing a game that involves as much cardiovascular exercise as soccer does will help them to maintain a healthy heart and lungs as they grow and develop. Regular playing will also build muscle strength, particularly in the legs, and improve their energy levels over time.
Soccer players are required to be fit and agile, and spend a huge portion of games sprinting after the ball or other players. Unlike other popular team sports, there are no time-outs or breaks in play, besides from the half-time period which generally only lasts fifteen minutes. It is therefore essential that soccer players have a high level of stamina to keep them from burning out during games. Improved stamina is something that will come with regular training and practice.
What many people may not think about when considering enrolling their child into a sport are the benefits of soccer for children beyond just the physical fitness aspect of the game. As a team sport, it is a great hobby to help youngsters build social skills and make new friends as they come into contact with other people their own age with at least one common interest.
Because soccer players are required to work as part of a team, communication skills are essential. Young players will learn the importance and value of working as part of a team; transferable skills that they will continue to use and build up through their lives.
Soccer is also a great sport for promoting confidence and self-image. One of the things that separates the game from other team sports is the total reliance on teamwork and the recognition of the players as a cohesive unit. Unlike with a sport such as baseball, where players are required to pitch or bat alone, there is less pressure on a soccer player within a team. With the exception of a goalkeeper, soccer players are rarely put on the spot or singled out, and soccer players share successes as a team rather than as individuals. This gives children who may be less athletic than others, and may not succeed in other sports, a chance to take part in something that they can enjoy and be involved in.
Soccer is not the most popular sport in the world for nothing. Millions of children across the world reap the benefits of this demanding, yet fun, game. There are leagues for all ages and both genders in most areas for teams to get involved in.
The competitive aspect is another benefit of soccer for children. It gives them something to strive for. It teaches the impulse of competition, which is a part of human nature, in a healthy and sportsmanlike way. Any child that is a part of a team will love to be the one lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament, or receiving a medal as a part of the best team in the league. By putting all of the skills that they have learned into practice, youth teams will work together and play together to be the best that they can be. No matter the result of the games, with all of the skills that children learn through playing soccer and take forward with them later in life, any soccer-playing youngster will be a winner.