To be a good youth soccer player requires more than just ball skills. Youth soccer players need fitness as well. Soccer fitness comes in many different forms; strength, balance, speed, and endurance to name a few.
Yes, there are more categories as well. I would include mental fitness, coordination, agility, and flexibility as well.
Because there are so many types of fitness that boys and girls need, they have to be exposed to as much movement as possible. With kids spending a lot of time sitting at home or at school, they don’t really get enough time to move to fully develop their fitness and athletic skills.
As a parent there are lots of ways to address this. Here are some ideas…
1. Have the team over for soccer parties.
2. Provide lots of different sport and game opportunities and equipment at home.The more they play, the better athlete they will be.
3. Nerf tennis, football, and soccer can be played indoors and is a lot of fun.
4. Play does not have to take up a lot of time. Even ten to twenty minutes in a quick game will help develop the soccer and athletic fitness your child needs.
Recently, my six year old has been obsessed with Wall Ball. I think it’s because he wants to get better against his friends at school. So we found a covered brick wall (underneath football bleachers) that is perfect.
He gets lots and lots of practice tracking the ball, moving quickly, stopping/starting, and just having fun. The basic athletic skills for Wall Ball are the same for soccer.
By letting him play a different game than soccer or directly practicing his soccer skills, he is still working on being a better athlete.
When I see him sweating and tired after 30 minute game, I know I’ve done my part.
And the fact that he sleeps better after exercising is another added bonus.
And I get enough of a workout that it’s good exercise for me too. Plus, it’s fun enough to keep me challenged.
There are lots of ways to bring in fitness for soccer in your families lifestyle. And the more ways you do it, the more time you spend moving and exercising the better off your child will be…
…in soccer, at school, and in their health.
For more ways to bring fitness and exercise into your child’s and families life, click the link.