Sports are a fantastic way to help children develop both physical and mental skills. In particular, soccer may be one of the best games for harnessing the power of movement. At its core, physical education helps children grasp fundamental movement skills such as running, sprinting, kicking, hopping, throwing, catching, galloping, skipping, and dodging. These skills make up the “ABCs of Movement:” agility, balance, and coordination. With quick changes of direction and a wide range of movements, soccer promotes the perfect blend of stimuli to help children develop their ABCs.
A is for Agility
Soccer provides just the right amount of running children need, combining short-distance sprinting with periods of recovery. Sprinting, coupled with interval recovery periods are instrumental in helping your child understand the concept of agility. This game also demands that kids do a lot of jumping and dodging to evade opponents. Coordination is practiced when players skip, hop and even gallop at times; changing speed and adjusting their stride to thwart players and change direction.
B is for Balance
Fancy footwork is required when kicking, throwing and catching the ball. Whenever the ball goes out of bounds, for example, the play restarts with a throw-in, and every player needs to learn how to do it. Goalies are constantly catching the ball with their hands and passing it to teammates, shifting their weight in tandem from their hands and feet. By continually creating fresh cognitive challenges, players must evaluate their position in space and time to gauge an appropriate physical response. The poise-centered actions in soccer hone in on the principles of balance.
C is for Coordination
The ability to track the movement of a soccer ball as it travels through the air while estimating speed and distance contribute to coordination development in practicing the concept of spatial orientation. As with movement skills, coordination requires real experience and practice. As the game continually challenges players to gauge the speed, distance, and trajectory of the ball, players learn how to coordinate their bodies and minds properly.
The benefits of organized sports like soccer are endless. Unleashing your child’s inner potential helps them grow physically and mentally, long after they exit the soccer field. Along with building a foundation for physicality, teamwork promotes fantastic social skills needed for everyday life. The best reward of all?… Having FUN!
Visit The422sportsplex.com to learn more about our youth programs, including our incredible Soccer Bugs program [for children 6 and under.]