America has football, Canada has hockey, and the world has soccer. With 250 million people playing soccer in over 200 countries, there isn’t a more universally loved sport; and with so much popularity you can bet the competition is stiff and well-trained.
In order to keep up, parents often enroll their children in youth leagues, soccer camps, and soccer training programs to sharpen skills and knowledge of the game. While the training gained in these programs is extremely helpful in improving their game play, the social aspect involved can be just as important.
It’s always good for children to spend time with groups of other kids in order to meet new people and improve social skills altogether. One of the advantages that a sports camp offers is the necessity for effective communication. While planning strategies, coordinating during plays, or even just discussing the match during time outs, children are forced to converse with their teams. A survey recently conducted found that 62% of kids in the U.S. play organized sports in large part to interact with friends; many of those relationships were likely started from playing on the same team in soccer camps or programs.
Getting children started early in sports is extremely beneficial to their ability to play the game as well as the condition of their fitness. When learning the ins and outs of a game at an early age, a child will be well acclimated to the environment. Understanding how a play is executed or recognizing the rules and regulations of the game will allow for expansion on other skill sets later.
All sports offer health benefits but the conditioning involved in soccer rivals them all. Between walking, running, jumping, and bursts of sprinting over a 90 minute game, it’s hard to find an exercise more effective — and frankly more fun — than soccer.
There is no shortage of fall soccer programs and leagues ready and willing to instill these skills on your children. Even if sports aren’t exactly your cup of tea, the social aspects and the critical thinking skills that come from quick thinking and play organization can be priceless later on in life.