Soccer is a sport that has evolved. What once was a game played in other parts of the country, is now a popular sport all across the nation. In fact, the sport of soccer is still evolving in the minds of families across the country. As the youngest athletes don their shin guards and soccer shirts, it takes effective coaching and organized clinics to help the enthusiasm of the youngest evolve into an organized approach to the game.
How Early Should Professional Soccer Training Begin?
While parents, former soccer players, and anyone watching a YouTube video can attempt to figure out methods for helping the youngest and newest soccer athletes transform into real players, the best programs understand that professional soccer training can be adapted to all levels. Currently, nearly 60% of children playing organized sports in America play sports outside of school. Of that percentage, take a minute to comprehend how many are playing soccer, according to U.S Youth Soccer statistics:
- 3 million American athletes, ages 3-19, play soccer.
- 52% of these 3 million players are male.
- 48% of these 3 million players are female.
- 11.5 is the median age of these 3 million players.
While the majority of the coaches in many of these programs are volunteers, the need for professional soccer training is still important. In fact, because more than 500,000 volunteer coaches and administrators are involved, the need for professional soccer training is essential. A well-planned soccer camp staffed by professionals can teach soccer skills to athletes, while modeling the best coaching techniques to thousands of volunteer coaches at the same time.
Does My Child Need to Play Indoor Soccer as Well as Outdoor Soccer?
The best way to learn soccer moves and to learn soccer skills is to play often and to make the best use of every available minute of training. While many athletes can condition and stay in shape while they play other sports, the most progress is often seen by athletes who play soccer year round. In many parts of the country, this can only take place at indoor centers. Weather conditions limit outdoor soccer practice and games. In addition, with so many athletes playing soccer, it takes a combination of both outdoor and indoor venues to accommodate all of the games and the practices.
The real trick, of course, is providing a high level of training and coaching in a fashion that will keep the youngest athletes interested. As a result, the youngest programs focus on making skills fun and attainable for children. An excellent soccer player who has been to so much practice that he or she has come to hate the sport will not be a great soccer player. In fact, they may not be a soccer player at all.
Parenting and coaching works best when it has a healthy mix of discipline and enjoyment. One without the other can be ineffective, and often dangerous. While playing soccer year round may need to be the goal for the best athletes, families need to decide what is the best balance for their family. A player who will not ever be the best athlete on the team still needs the best available training. More than many others, soccer is a sport that can be played for a lifetime. Understanding the game and the skills needed to play are essential to a lifelong enjoyment of the sport of soccer. The best advice is to provide the best training and coaching options at the youngest levels and eventually let children make choices.
Luckily, the skills that athletes of all ages learn on the soccer fields across the world understand more than just the basics of moving the ball up field and shooting on the goalie. They also learn the value of working together. In fact, a recent survey indicates that 62% of children playing organized sports in the U.S. are also learning to interact with their friends.