Top Five Tips For Your Child’s First Soccer Game!
With the kick-off of a new youth soccer season, we’ve put together our favorite tips to help you and your little kickers get the most out of their soccer games and training. We love to see all the kids having fun both on and off the field, as well as living a healthy and active lifestyle!
Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep. A well-rested player means more energy to learn new skills and play in the big game, and more importantly, more brain power to learn both in school and on the field.
Eat & Drink Right!
Encourage your child to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of snacks along the way that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains throughout the day. Diet and exercise are learned behaviors that start young, for the sake of your child’s long term health, don’t fall into the habit of fast food, soda, and sugar laden treats. With a nutritious diet your player will be energized and ready to go! REMEMBER TO DRINK LOTS OF WATER BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE GAME & TRAINING!
Make sure your child’s footwear fits properly. Running and agility is a key component to the game. Proper cleats or turfs that fit correctly will allow your young soccer star to avoid nasty blisters, touch the ball properly, and make the most out of their time playing! Also remember to make sure to wear shin guards, bring a proper sized ball and plenty of water!
Get Those Legs Moving!
In the lead up to training or the game, take a few minutes to have a light kick about beffort training or game time. Simple controlled push passes with a friend or relative is fun for every kid. Not only can this be a fun family activity, but it will also help reinforce the skills your child is learning, get them used to touching the ball and help build pre-game confidence, focus, and excitement.
Remember that soccer is a game and is meant to be fun! Even if you are a soccer lifer, remember that youth soccer is the child’s version of the sport, and thus have realistic and reasonable expectations. Pressuring your child and making training and games stressful will not get the best out of your young athlete. Allow your child to learn at their own pace and recognize that every child progresses at at a different rate. Let your child play on his or her own terms, and for the reasons they want to play, as long as those reasons are reasonably within the expectations of the coach and the rules of the game! After the game, make sure and let them know how much you love to watch them play!
For more information about the first four titles of LearnSport Books’ iplaysoccer! series in our on-line book store, click here.