It is no secret that the key to healthy lifestyle is eating right and getting plenty of exercise. This applies to children as well, as they need exercise to release pent up energy from sitting in class all day, and maintain their overall health. The American Heart Association recommends that children over the age of 2 should participate in some sort of exercise for at least an hour every day in order increase their life expectancy, and reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases.
One of the best exercises for children is soccer. Popularly known around the world as “football,” soccer gives children a chance to constantly be on their feet, attentive, and coordinated. One 2010 study conducted by researches at the University of Copenhagen found that soccer provided an overall health and fitness that running alone did not offer. The study also concluded that the combination of running, kicking, and movement on the soccer field proved to be an effective way to keep children and adults active and healthy.
Along with physical activity, soccer also promotes a feeling of unity, and develops team spirit. Children on a soccer team learn soccer skills, teamwork, coordination and how to play soccer as one unit. From defense to offense, every player has to undergo the same soccer training to ensure that the entire team is on the same page. This can be a crucial part of helping children learn to cooperate with one another on and off the field.
Soccer players on a team also have to come together in youth soccer leagues to work toward a common goal. In summer soccer camps and school teams, there are different youth soccer tournaments that pit teams against one another to earn a trophy or prize. These youth soccer tournaments can be a great way for children to put their countless hours of practice to use, and also rely on their teammates to help win the tournament. They can learn the importance interdependence, and how their role on the team is just as integral as their peers’.
Of the many sports available to youth, soccer is considered relatively easy to learn. After studying the positions, such as sweeper, stopper, forward, and middle fielder, children only have to keep one goal in mind on offense, and protect their own goal. Being able to kick a ball is one of the most basic requirements for joining a soccer league, and the rest can be learned along the way. With the help of a great coaching staff and helpful peers, children can pick up the sport quickly, and eventually move on to more intricate footwork.
The constant movement and exercise that soccer allows, gives children ample opportunities to keep themselves motivated and active. It also promotes teamwork, collaboration, and loyalty, which are key characteristics of maintaining healthy relationships. Not only will children be able to feel pride in achieving their goals and winning youth soccer tournaments, but they will likely forge friendships that will last a lifetime.