Is Soccer the Right Sport for You?

Two youths engaged in the game of soccer! – (Photo: Examiner.com)

The wonderful thing about our modern world is that people have options.  One realm where choices run abundant is in youth sports!  Games of all shapes and sizes have gained immense popularity, and as most people value exercise, such sports are a beneficial thing for every child to participate in.  And while each sport is a little bit different, they all are the same in that they help foster good health, help forge friendships, and teach valuable lessons.  So how do you know if soccer is the right game for you or your kids to participate in?

First off, soccer is a game where being a team player is incredibly important.  No game places the same importance on every single player on the field.  Passing the ball and helping your fellow teammates is extremely vital in soccer.  For those more selfishly inclined, a game like tennis or golf may be the best choice.  But for those willing and wanting to help their friends out, a team sport like soccer is perfect!

Do you like to run?  While the goalkeeper may not have to run all that much, most soccer players will cover several miles in any given match at the professional level.  While youth soccer players don’t cover quite that much ground, there is still a lot of running around to be had.  Make sure that you are ready and willing to move those legs!

What is your body type?  While children’s bodies do develop and change over the years, there is definitely a specific body type that is best for each game.  Are you freakishly tall?  You might want to consider a sport like basketball that values height (unless you’re Peter Crouch!).  Perhaps you come from a big, husky background and can push people around?  In that case you may want to think about playing football as a lineman.  The perfect body for soccer is actually the average, normal person.  Usually relatively thin and fit, soccer players are the normal type of shape.  This is one reason why soccer is the world’s most popular sport.  The most average body types are often the most successful in the game!

Another thing to consider is do you like playing with a ball at your feet or in your hands?  While most sports value the use of your hands, soccer is different in that it is so focused on footwork.  Even goalies (the one position where the use of the hands is allowed) must have decent foot skills for kicking the ball and when they have to run outside of their penalty box.  Get a soccer ball and try kicking it around.  Does it feel natural or are you dying to pick it up?  The answer to this question should decide which sport you are looking to play.

Of course each and every competitive sport comes with its own set of pros and cons, but I’ve found in my personal experience that soccer tends to breed one of the happiest groups of smart and friendly athletes and can be an absolute joy to be around.  While everyone must choose their own path, I was certainly happy to have given the sport a go as a youth and highly recommend it to anybody currently sitting on the fence about whether they should play soccer!


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