Like almost everything else in this life, no age prevents you from starting something new. As long as it is within your means, of course. If we speak of children, we must take into account their psychomotor development , because, as we will explain, there is a perfect age for soccer depending on the child's capabilities.
If you are wondering if 4-year-olds can or should play soccer, you want to learn how to teach soccer to children of similar ages, or you think that age might be a limitation to start playing, we suggest you read on.
Many children start playing soccer at a very young age and get used to chasing the ball very quickly. The setting for these new players is usually the park, the schoolyard or the soccer fields, and many of these young debutants dream of playing like professionals do.
Due to the increasing popularity of soccer in many cities and on television, many children show a continuous trend in choosing this sport. Therefore, it is normal for parents to have doubts when signing their children up for a soccer team, either because of their young age or because of the strong commitment and focused efforts associated with this sport.
If you have a son or daughter and are thinking of signing him or her up for soccer classes, you are probably wondering at what age a child can start playing soccer. Several factors influence this choice:
• The stages of growth and the physical development that they have
• In a more psychological sense, their ability to self-managing, concentrating, having team spirit, or understanding competitiveness
• The type of training and structure that might be offered by their academy or school
There is no exact figure that indicates an age limitation to start playing soccer because as we will see later, it is never too late. However, most experts on the matter believe that it is from the age of 5 and onwards that children are more prepared to take their first steps on the pitch.
Of course, they can, but many coaches agree that a five-year-old's understanding is superior and they can better understand the basics of the sport.
At an early age, training will be more focused on the children developing awareness of their own body and thus increasing their motor skills. In addition, they will focus more on visual and sensory stimuli for the correct preparation and sustained development of the child's future in this sport.
With this simple training exercices you can help your son or daughter improving their soccer skills while spending some fun time with them. Through small exercises, they will be able to improve their ball control, practicing ball toches, making passes, or tuning up their aiming with a fun parent-kid dynamic like in this video.
Learning between a family member and a child is also very useful in terms of developing trust. So the parent's job is to encourage the child so they can make an effort and safely go the extra mile, although the parent will also have to set an example and practice the exercises as a role-model, making the child's effort have good results on both the child's attitude towards the sport and in his/her skills.
Now, to understand how exercises are performed in a children's team and what is their predisposition and ability to practice this sport, we show you an example of soccer training exercises for 5-year-olds. In this video, you can see several exercises that are taught to children in their first week of training: speed, agility, reactions, and much more.
At this age, children become more aware of learning about soccer. However, children play soccer for fun at this age so it will also be important to inculcate good values in them and, if they are to take on a leadership role within their team, teaching them about the responsibilities of a captain.
At the age of nine, the child has a greater capacity to concentrate on those activities that attract him/her and can develop that feeling of improvement with a great curiosity about themselves. At 10 years the child starts being able to observe the environment that surrounds her/him and to feel that he/she belongs to a group. This is the reason why this age has the most suitable conditions to start in competitions.
Among the many benefits, we find increased muscle power in the legs, improved cardiovascular capacity, increased jumping power, stimulation of peripheral vision, motor coordination, and an increased reaction speed.
Given that there is a heavy tendency for children to group up while playing, how do you teach young players not to crowd upon while on the pitch? There are several exercises and tricks of the coach to get those groups dissolved. This way, young players learn that they have to be at a minimum of five strides away from their teammate when they are in an attacking position.
The coach must always teach them how to maintain their position. In the offense, they must be taught that when a teammate is dribbling towards them, they must move away from the ball to create space and generate a passing opportunity.
At the beginning of this post, we asked if your starting age was a limitation in soccer. Is there such a thing as being too old to become a soccer player? Can you start playing soccer at 15? Keep in mind that players like Marco Materazzi, Luca Toni, Rune Blatseth, or Ian Wright were promoted to the top soccer teams when they were 20 or 25 years old, so why couldn't you be one of them?
Soccer is a sport that can be played at any age, although if we are talking about professional soccer, the best thing to do always is to start as soon as you decide that you want to dedicate yourself to it. The best age for soccer is the one you decide to start, you just have to approach it with passion and a lot of enthusiasm.
Any boy or girl is indeed capable of hitting a ball without hardly any effort, but playing soccer is a lot more than that, it is a lifestyle and it is necessary for boys and girls who start in soccer to have constant training and learning. Besides, when children are around 5 years old, the benefits of playing soccer will be significant in their health and development.
In conclusion, if you have any doubts about whether or not to sign your child up for soccer, regardless of the age group he or she belongs to, what is clear is that you will be allowing him or her to develop physically within a team. The benefits are not only physical and on a health level, but they will also learn what a discipline is.
A discipline that will also offer you the opportunity to learn values such as teamwork, camaraderie, and solidarity. It will help you socialize with your peers and be part of an amazing new lifestyle.
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