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Why Is Soccer So Good For Kids?

Dec 27, 2007
Although baseball calls itself America's pastime and football considers itself to be a uniquely American sport, when you drive across town on any Saturday morning you will see hundreds of kids without bats and without helmets, playing one game: soccer. Although it fails to make the professional scene in America, soccer for children has become a growing enterprise offering the best of athleticism to a full and healthy childhood. Why is soccer so good for kids?

Fighting obesity

Between videogames and families that do not eat at home anymore, children have a hard time staying fit and healthy. Junk food diets, sedentary lifestyle, and parents who work and are rarely home or involved in their lives have led America's children down a spiraling trend towards childhood obesity. Obesity doesn't simply affect children as they experience their youth, but will carry into lifelong habits and lead to the proliferation of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other weight related syndromes. The best way to combat childhood obesity is to encourage parents to provide good eating alternatives for the children and to get kids off of the couch and into the park. Soccer with its ease of play and lack of equipment is a perfect sport to allow kids to run, jump and keep their bodies more healthy.

Social skills

One of the best things about teaching soccer to children is that it is a team sport and involves many of the skills children need to succeed in their future development. To play soccer kids need to learn how to communicate with one another respectfully and responsively as they have to work together. They have to learn to share; they have to come together as a conglomerate to meet a common goal and help each other achieve the best in its pursuit. All of these attributes encourage childhood development and allow kids to make friends across cultural boundaries and neighborhood fences. For particularly shy children who were not able to translate school into a social circle a soccer team provides an instant set of companions, and a way to experiment with interaction in a safe and healthy environment.

It's fun

Living more healthfully and learning to make friends are good goals to have for anybody entering a sport, but the other key to soccer is that its fun. Soccer offers a sense of self-esteem and well being children can develop as they see their accomplishments grow. Soccer involves both mental challenge and physical movement in a way that a videogame could never offer. Instead of sitting inside learning about enjoyment through violent games, expensive toys or isolating television, soccer allows kids to be outside developing healthy body, healthy mind and healthy esteem.

We have spent a lot of time in our society creating technological advances so that we could work less and enjoy more. Unfortunately the reverse seems to have happened. The more technologically based we have become the more sedentary, unhealthy and distant from one another we have grown. Teaching children to play soccer and be part of the team may be one of the best antidotes for the 21st century.
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