Ball sports teach important skills like being able to aim, throw, dribble and catch a ball, but they also encourage social skills too. These are all skills that will be required in primary school and beyond, and football is often a team sport that is played in PE lessons, so getting some practice in early can be no bad thing.
The physical benefits of playingfootball go beyond football skills – children will develop better hand-eye coordination, become aware of their posture, and have improved motor skills in general. On the social side, they’ll begin to understand how important teamwork is and their self-confidence will grow.
Experienced coaches have a knack of bringing out the best in kids on the football pitch, especially the ones who are naturally shy and find it difficult to integrate. Learning to play football means getting lots of praise from their coach as they put in the practice and that translates to increased self-confidence through achievement.
It’s also a good way for children to make new friends – perhaps out of the usual circle of people you and they know. Playing a team sport like football, children will also learn about being competitive. It’s all about taking part and doing your best for the team. There will, of course, be times when the child has to learn that you can’t always win, and being part of a team will help them see that it’s ok to lose. With a game like football, kids begin to understand that it’s not just about whether you win or lose, it’s how much fun you have in the process.
There’s no better time to start playing football than in a FIFAWorld Cup year. The countdown to the World Cup in Brazil in June is already underway and as we get closer to the firstkick-off in June, the media coverage will mean that football is an almost daily topic. If the kids have already started soccer practice they’ll feel much more a part of it. And for mums and dads, if you’re going to be watching the matches, make them more exciting by getting an early bet on which team you think will be the overall winner – check out the odds on Betfair.