We all kind of wish that our son or daughter turns out to be another Pele or Lionel Messi, but what do you do to encourage a child to play this amazing game? Of course, there does need to be an initial liking for the game of football and most kids love a kick around outside the house after school; if you have a dream that your child might take up the game seriously, here are a few tips to add some encouragement.
- Watch the Top Teams in Action – There’s nothing like watching Manchester United or Liverpool to encourage kids to play the game and while live matches on TV are fine, you miss out on the amazing atmosphere, so do try to take your child to see some of the big games at the team’s stadium. When you take a look at the top players, you find that the majority were introduced to competitive football at a very young age, while some credit these early experiences with giving them the desire to become a professional footballer.
- Coaching – The sooner you enroll your child in football skills trainer at Smile football Club, the quicker they will learn the right techniques to enable ball control; Kids as young as 5 love to play and by joining up with a local football academy, they learn the basics of good technique at a very early age. The football academy is run by professionals who know how to make it fun, which is critical for young kids and as they age, they pick up new skills that they can integrate into their game.
- Encouragement & Support – If you were to ask any successful footballer about their childhood, they will all tell you about the undying support they received from their parents, which is a critical element of becoming an excellent player. This will mean that you have to make sacrifices sometimes and always try to boost your son or daughter’s ambition; many of the young players that dream of success usually are the ones you enjoy a long and rewarding career. Here is a great article on maintaining a high level of fitness, which is recommended for all.
- Make Sure the Interest is Self-Generated – You might want your son to take up soccer, but does he have the same desire? It is easy for a parent to confuse their child’s interest with that of their own; your desire is not enough, it must be coupled with a genuine love of the game within the child and if that isn’t there, perhaps you should look at other sports. Sports tend to be either one thing or the other as far as kids go; meaning they either love to play or have zero interest.
- Promoting Ball Control – At the end of the day, football is all about the ability to control the ball and the best way to attain these skills is always have a ball nearby; many a Premier League player started with a ball and a wall and little else! You might be shocked to see the levels of ball control today’s youngsters possess, check out a few YouTube videos and you’ll get the idea.
- Team Analytics – The sooner your child understands the strategies to play, the better; Sit down while watching a game and show your child how the midfield players feed the forwards and wingers, while also pointing out how the team can be configured in many different formations. It is advisable to encourage your child to try various positions; some world class goalkeepers discovered their talent quite by chance and you never know with football until you try it.
- Understanding the Rules – Of course, this would start with the basics, the size of the pitch, the penalty areas, then you can introduce ‘offside’, which can be confusing to a youngster. Playing in organised games is the best way to learn the rules of any sport, while it is also important to introduce ‘fair play’ and to accept a loss and learn from it to become a better player and team. Click here for some great FIFA resources, which will help you a lot.
- The Right Attitude – Any child learning to play football should have a genuine love of the game, indeed, many seem to be natural when you place a ball at their feet; however, let’s not forget that some good players possess less talent but make up for that with hard work. It is healthy to dream of playing for your country at Wembley Stadium and these dreams play a role in shaping a person’s destiny. As a parent, never underestimate your role in encouraging your child and supporting them through the lows as well as cheering the victories.
With your support and encouragement, your child will develop a life-long love of the game of football and get them into a local soccer academy as soon as you can.