My daughter when she started soccer (2005)
I just returned from our Saturday morning routine of watching our kids play soccer and was inspired to write this post.
- Kids can start playing soccer as young as 3 years old. Soccer is often the first sport kids play because it involves large motor coordination skills versus more refined hand-eye skills like needed in baseball.
- Your local recreation area probably offers soccer and it is usually really reasonably priced for the younger ages. My kids play through the City of Westminster and it is about $40 per season.
- Registration can be months before you are even thinking about Fall sports. For example, our deadline for registration is June 30th. Practice and games don’t usually start until September.
- Usually the coach will be a parent. This stays true until the kids start to play more competitively (around 9) and join interleague travel teams. If you have any interest in coaching your child, it would be greatly appreciated if you volunteered!
- Young kids – up until 8 ish – will use a size 3 soccer ball. You will also need to buy shin guards and socks and it is up to you if you want to buy cleats or wear sneakers.
- I have found cleats very reasonably priced at Ross and Target ~ $15.
- The season usually consists of 8 games played on Saturday mornings. You likely won’t have practice until your child is 6 and then it is 1 or 2 nights a week and games on Saturdays.
- You don’t want to be “that” parent. You know, the one screaming and yelling and getting pissed off because his 6 year old isn’t scoring a goal. Cheer. Support. AND teach your child how to be a good sport. It is perfectly acceptable to say “good job” to the other team’s players during the game.
- A goalie is also referred to as a keeper. This one is just confusing if you don’t know the lingo. However, young kids will be set up to play 3 vs 3 and there won’t be a goalie or assigned positions for the first few years.
- Snacks should be provided for the entire team at the end of each game (and we usually bring enough for younger siblings too). Snacks are rotated amongst the families. If the coach doesn’t set this up, then it would be nice if you did. A drink of some sort (usually juice box) and a snack – granola bars, cookies, rice krispy treats, etc. are typical. Some teams also provide fruit (sliced oranges is popular) for half time as well.
- At the end of the game, parents form a “tunnel” that the kids run through. You face your spouse (or whomever) on either side of the half-field line and link hands above your head. The kids say good game to each other and then run screaming under the parents. It is really cute. I highly recommend taking a picture of your child exiting the tunnel as only the young kids do it, so it only happens for a couple of years.
- It is polite to give a coach’s gift at the end of the season. Usually between $5 to $10 per player is contributed and one person takes the lead to buying a gift certificate to Sports Authority or a restaurant. If no one steps up, then you are welcome to take the lead. Or give an individual gift at the end of the season.
My kids this season (2010)….