Sharing and Learning Your Soccer Story
I remember seeing my dad jump up and down in anticipation as I blocked the incoming soccer ball from my opponent. I was in the 5th grade and what might have been embarrassing for some was added excitement for me as I eagerly attacked the soccer ball. I guess it was only natural for me to want to share my love for soccer with boys. When my oldest son, Aiden was three, I signed him up to learn soccer skills in a program called Lil Kickers. He wasn’t sure about the game at first, but the class taught him basic skills of kicking, passing and running that bolstered his confidence. By the time he was 4-years-old, Aiden was ready for us to sign him up for our town’s recreational soccer team. It was funny to watch Aiden and his teammates swarm around the ball and move it up and down the field all clustered together. Each year Aiden progressed in his soccer skills, and this year he started asking about playing in a more competitive setting.
September is Youth Soccer Month, and a perfect time to share and learn about soccer. I found myself at a crossroads when my son asked about taking his soccer to the next level. I knew I wasn’t alone in my soccer questions. Whether it’s just beginning soccer or moving competitive, it’s a story worth sharing. I brought my questions to Marlow Campbell, the Executive Director of Triangle Futbol Club Alliance. Marlow has a background in being a professional player, coach, and a dad.
Here’s what I learned:
What is a good age for children to start playing soccer? “The ages of 3-4 is good time to start playing for many kids. A lot of this depends on the attention span of the individual player. The beauty of it is the kids may be nervous and apprehensive the 1stweek, but they get more comfortable each week moving forward.”
What are the benefits of children playing soccer? “There are many benefits to playing to playing soccer. It helps with coordination, fitness, communication, and working with others to achieve a common goal. These are life lessons we see players also use off the field.”
When is it a good time for youth to move from a recreation team to a more competitive team? “For some players, the age of 6 is a good time to explore more competitive environments. For the majority, 7-9 is when they move. The move to more competitive teams also involves a little more of a commitment with an additional day or two of training. This helps the player truly develop the skills to compete.”
When Marlow answered my questions, I felt like we were on the right track and ready to move forward.
Where are you in your soccer story?