There is much debate on when the right age is to initiate your child into soccer. Some suggest that by indoctrinating them into sporting activity at a very early age (3 or 4) they’re then wired to want to actively pursue physical activity or sport at a later age. Conversely others suggest that a child around the age of ten is ideal because this is when physical conditioning can start to aid a child’s performance. Let’s take a closer look at what the experts really say.
According to leading sports psychologists movement is fundamental to a child in their first 3 or 4 years of life. It gives them the ability to observe and develop essential skills like co-ordination and balance, as well as having a better awareness of space and time. As a result if soccer is to be taught it needs a different approach.
Firstly, In order that the child’s attentional needs are met the group needs to be based in the right setting.
Secondly, simple trial and error problem solving using a fun approach gives the child the basics from which to make quick decisions needed to play the sport at a later age.
Thirdly, these problem solving tasks should be repeated but this time with less help from the coach. At this stage coaches should also start initiating comparisons and judgements
Finally by increasing the difficulty of the exercise variations and achieving the result, the child should begin to recognise real aspirations for the first time.
These are the fundamentals or building blocks needed to take the sport to the next level.
At the age of 10
A this age more emphasis should be placed on physical ability and skill because a ten year old’s brain and body is clearly going to be better suited to dealing with the nuances of the game. For example, simple ball passing while moving gives them the opportunity to learn better spatial awareness and quick decision making, while close ball control teaches them better co-ordination and dexterity. Finally competitive 5-a side games can be introduced to encourage better communication and team play.
In essence it’s thought that anything that encourages movement is perfect grounding for preparing a small child to play the sport properly at a later age. So for this reason, there’s nothing wrong in introducing children as young as 3 or 4 to the beautiful game as long as it’s approached in the right way.
Here at Galaxy Soccer all our coaches are fully licensed and highly experienced and conduct soccer parties and soccer programs that we guarantee your child will love. For further information contact us on (07) 31 776 775 or visit our website at www.galaxysoccer.com.au