Friday, July 19, 2024

How To Help Your Child Get Better At Soccer

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By The Capital Sports Report Staff

Helping your child improve their soccer skills involves offering the right support. This includes buying the right gear and doing the right drills with them to help them excel. Below are just a few things you can do to help your child get better at soccer.

Soccer (Photo by Unsplash)

Get them to join a club

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Almost every town is guaranteed to have a soccer club for kids. Such clubs can allow your kid to play games of soccer and build techniques under the guidance of a qualified coach. You’ll usually find several different clubs aimed at different ages, as well as different leagues for different abilities. Some schools may even have their own clubs to join. It could be worth doing your research to compare fees and see which club has the best reputation. 

Invest in a decent ball

When learning how to handle a ball, it’s important to make sure that the ball is of good quality, so that it reacts in the way a ball should. Cheaper balls are often spongier and don’t offer as much grip. They are also less durable. Consider spending a little extra on a ball to ensure that it is good quality. Make sure that the ball is the right size for their age and that it’s not too hard. As such a ball is more expensive, you will need to encourage them to look after it and not play with it anywhere that it could be easily lost. Getting them to help choose the ball could encourage them to take more pride in it. 

Buy a net for your backyard

It could also be worth buying your child a soccer goal so that they can practice scoring and defending at home. Nets are available in all different shapes and sizes. Larger nets will cost more and are usually only suitable if you have a large backyard. There are plenty of smaller nets to choose from, including collapsible nets that you can take in the car to the park or put away in a shed when not in use. Target nets can be a fun option that incorporates extra holes and mini nets for practicing accuracy. You’ll find all different types of target nets online.

Break down techniques into steps

When teaching your child various techniques like dribbling, tackling, and passing, don’t be afraid to break down these techniques into small steps. This can help to ensure that kids are actually using the right part of their foot or positioning their body in the right way. You don’t want kids to develop poor technique because you tried to teach them skills too hurriedly – once kids get older, it will be harder to train these poor techniques out of them

Encourage repetition in a fun way

Repetition is key to perfecting any exercise or technique. Unfortunately, young kids don’t have the greatest level of patience and quickly get bored of practicing the same technique over and over again. This is why you need to find ways of making repetition fun. Using imagination is a great way to motivate young kids between 4 and 6 – this could include encouraging kids to stay in a specific spot by making them pretend they’re on a platform surrounded by lava. You can also train repetitive exercises to music.

Practice without a ball

This might seem like a strange way to train, but it can have benefits when it comes to teaching kids how to move and position their bodies. By training without a ball, you can help kids focus on their footwork and body positioning rather than the ball itself. Once this is nailed, you can then incorporate a ball into the training, and kids may naturally start to adopt the right body position and movements.

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Capture videos to help analyze performance

Taking a video of your child can help them to see for themselves how they are moving and handling the ball. Using this video, you can then clearly point out things that they are doing well or things that they are not doing well. Such videos could include footage taken from games or videos of them doing general training. Smartphones have made capturing videos so much easier. Just make sure that you have permission to take these videos if other kids are in them.

Know when to up the pressure

With young kids, you’ll need to go easy on them when playing with them. However, as kids start to get older and begin to develop their skills, you should consider upping the pressure. This includes standing in their way to obstruct them and making a more deliberate effort to tackle them. Such pressure is important because it’s what kids will face when playing actual games. The key is to play just at their ability so that you make practice challenging but off-puttingly so. Of course, they may eventually reach a skill level that you cannot match, which is when you know they’re getting really good. 

Help them develop their general fitness

Having a good level of general fitness can be important for improving performance. Make sure that your child isn’t gaining unhealthy weight and that they’re constantly building their speed, agility, and stamina. You can do this through various running and turning exercises. Squats can meanwhile be good for building leg muscles. You can look up HIIT workouts for kids online.

Consider paying for some private coaching

When it comes to club training, coaches typically have to divide their attention among many kids. This means that not every detail is picked up on. Paying for some one-on-one coaching could be worthwhile to help put the focus on them. This can be useful for kids that are lagging behind their teammates, and equally useful for kids that are more advanced in their ability and who may have a shot of going pro. Not all coaches offer private one-on-one coaching so you’ll need to do your research. Make sure to choose a coach that is experienced at training kids and that has a good reputation. 

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