Now that the school year is concluding, many parents are interested in getting their child involved in summer activities. There are a variety of summer activities that a child can participate in, but our favorite is soccer.
Not only does it give a child a constructive outlet for their pent-up summer energy, participating in youth soccer leagues is great for a child’s development. Of course you are immediately assuming that youth soccer tournaments help children gain good fitness habits, and perhaps as they learn soccer moves, they build their coordination. While this is true, youth soccer tournaments are also instrumental in helping children develop strong character that makes them more successful and confident in life. If you don’t believe us, please check out our list of life skills that children develop through youth soccer tournaments.
Five Key Life Skills That Children Develop By Participating in Youth Soccer Tournaments
- Problem Solving
An incredible amount of math and strategy goes into playing soccer. In order to be successful, a player has to calculate the velocity the ball needs to reach in order to make it to the intended destination, what angle the ball must be kicked at in order to avoid opponents and reach teammates, and a variety of flexible reactions they should take depending on their opponents’ actions. This all plays out in rapid succession.
While the child might just be enjoying the game, they are developing the part of the brain that is responsible for critical thinking, and this skill pours over into their education and even a successful career in life.
Soccer is one of the most physically demanding sports available to children to participate in. Players essentially run constantly for two hours. During this time, players get very exhausted and must be able to fight through their lethargy and pain in order to be successful. While this is good for the child’s physical fitness, it also helps them develop a no-quitting attitude. When life gets tough, they have the inner strength to power through and fight for a successful result, because of the endurance they’ve developed playing soccer.
- Tolerance and Acceptance
Soccer is the most widely participated in sport in the world. One in every three humans across the globe engage in watching or playing soccer, or both. By getting your child involved in soccer, they are joining the biggest common denominator that connects all humans. They now have a common bond with people of all races, creeds, and life style backgrounds; people who they might not cross paths with otherwise. This helps children understand that all people are equal, and helps them gain a sense of acceptance and tolerance that shapes their world view throughout their lives.
- Team Work
This is probably one of the more obvious benefits of playing soccer. As they say, “There’s no I in team.” No matter how talented a soccer player is, his team will not be successful unless he works with the other players on his team as a single unit to accomplish the mission. Gaining the ability to work with the other players on their team, even in challenging or sometimes unsuccessful circumstances, helps a child become successful while working with other people to accomplish a single goal in education, career, and even in their personal relationships.
The fact is, sometimes life doesn’t unfold how we plan. Likewise, one team has to lose in every game. Sometimes, the losing team will be your child’s. As parents, we don’t want our children to ever feel disappointment; but it’s good for their development. When a child is on the losing team, they (hopefully) learn how to handle it with dignity. And when a child is on the winning team, (hopefully) they recall the feeling of losing and treat their opponents respectfully. This quality helps a child process disappointment and build up other people who are experiencing disappointment throughout life.
When making the important decision of what type of events to get your children involved in this summer, we hope you remember how incredibly valuable it is for them to participate in soccer.