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So…you’ve signed your children up for soccer for the FIRST time. Now what?
Don’t know anything about the beautiful game? No problem. In some ways, it’s easiest to start with a clean slate. So you played in high school or college? It’s important to understand that being a soccer player and being a soccer parent are two different things.
For many kids, soccer is an introduction to team sports.
Why soccer? No fancy equipment required and you don’t need a lot of people. From an early age, every child loves to play with a ball. Soccer, at its most basic, is kicking the ball with friends. It doesn’t have complicated rules. It’s fun…and it’s supposed to stay that way. The number one reason children leave a sport is because they aren’t having fun. Sometimes it’s because they are not ready for the sport or they simply don’t enjoy the sport, but often times it’s because the parents have taken the fun out of playing.
So, how do you keep the game FUN for you and your child? Please take a few minutes to read the following guides. The guides make excellent points and present important items in a light, easily digestible style.
What equipment do you need? Not much. A ball (Size 3 for U4-U8; Size 4 for U9-U13), shin guards, cleats, and plenty of water.
Scores aren’t kept for U4-U8 age groups. Some kids automatically keep score and others are happy just going out and playing. What is important at this age is for kids to have a positive experience so they will want to continue to play.
So how do you make the most of the experience? Support your children. Make sure they go to practice so they can learn how to play, improve their game, and hang out with friends. Be part of the team. Cheer when a good play is made and not just for your child, but for all of the kids. Relax and let them play. Let them make their own decisions and their own mistakes; it is part of the learning process. Have reasonable expectations and bring great snacks!
Learn more about being a Rec Parent Team Manager (any parent can be a great team manager, no soccer experience necessary)