Football and children: tips

Baby Tips, Growth & Development Add comments

200419362-001.jpgWhen we play sports—we have opponents and we practice good behaviour on the playing field and there we find a way to win—but we also have fun. Sports are very important, they help sensitize feelings and through that you can bring about peace. Football is played in fields, in refugee camps, and even amidst situations of war and armed-conflict. Wherever you find children, you will also most likely find football.

Of course football equipment is required by sponsored leagues and schools. Making sure that the equipment fits your child appropriately is of utmost importance. If you want to buy used equipment, be sure to have your child fitted for the right size and then go bargain-hunting.

Here is a list of necessary equipment and equipment that may help prevent injuries.

* Helmet with a face mask
* Protective pads for thighs and hips (can come as a girdle)
* Shoulder pads
* Padded shirt
* Cleats
* Gloves
* Mouth guard
* Leg and ankle braces
* Other equipment that may be suggested by your child’s coach

Kids should listen to their coach at all times. Football rules can be complex and it is important to know the rules in order to help the team and play safe.  Make sure your child understands the rules of the game, what is expected of his position, and ask questions if there is any misunderstanding or confusion.

Most of all, encourage your child to have fun!

It’s hardly controversial to argue that a results-oriented approach at the early ages propagates over-coaching that stifles individual creativity.

But if score lines aren’t what we should use to judge progress at the younger ages, what do we look for? There should be recognition of a kid trying to control a ball, or trying to pass the ball, or trying to make some move, even if it doesn’t work. Instead of valuing the final score, watching individual progress is how to judge development. When a 6- or 7-year-old, for example, begins to look up from the ball, it’s a sign that he’s advancing as a player.

For teams at the older age groups, judging performance beyond trophies is a matter of seeing progress in the different facets of the game.

Clearly, the age of your child is important. Most parents can remain calm watching a high-school age athlete play, sports, because they know that the athlete is old enough to handle difficult situations themselves. On the other hand, watching a young child play sports brings out all our natural urges to protect and nurture our offspring. Too often, the problem in youth sports is not crazy, out-of-control parents, but the fact that we put children in very competitive situations at too young an age.

Competitive sports programs are a big part of the growing-up experience for many children. But as parents, we should not accept current sports programs as being “best” for our children without examining the effect they have on our lives. There is lots of room for improvement.

If children are not learning and improving their skills, it can’t be fun. If it isn’t fun, children won’t want to come back to play soccer. So be prepared, know the game and the proper skill progressions, and provide the child with numerous opportunities to explore and discover through active participation.

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