The interest in women’s soccer has grown dramatically in recent years, thanks in no small part to the success of the U.S. national team, which took home the victory at the Women’s World Cup in France (2019) and at three previous World Cups. Indeed, America is leading the way in the field, showing consistent growth and attracting tens of millions of viewers for key games. Women’s soccer has never enjoyed greater prestige, which in itself may have attracted your child to the game. If they are new to the sport and you’d like to pique their curiosity, however, then a few key tips can help you achieve your aim. Just a few are listed below.
Inspiration Is Everything
The world of influencer marketing has revealed the extent to which people are inspired, motivated and influenced by people they trust and admire. Your daughter will undoubtedly feel more like heading out onto the field and practicing their kicking and dribbling skills if they know about players like Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), or Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns). Julie Ertz, for instance, has a one million following on Instagram, and there is an enlightening documentary on Julie and her husband Zach. Start out by checking out these sports stars’ social media pages, watching videos on their lives and challenges, and watching brilliant moments of play. Your child may decide they have what it takes to be the next American soccer star.
A Must-Have Film For Soccer Kids
A true classic when it comes to girls’ soccer is the Gurinder Chadha film, Bend it Like Beckham, starring Keirla Knightley and Parminder Nagra, focused on the ambitions and disappointments of a female soccer team in London. The film was a huge critical and commercial hit, and surprisingly was the highest grossing sports film to focus on soccer. The film is a great way to show that everyday girls can excel at sport and rely on their talent to boost their confidence, know they can play any sport that boys can, and grow as people as they work to achieve team goals in the face of a plethora of challenges.
Starting With Soccer Classes
You can start teaching your child a few key skills, such as how to kick a ball to the goal, how to kick a corner shot, and how to play the role of goalie. However, one of the best things about soccer is playing within a team, so the sooner they can take classes in the presence of other girls, the better. Choose a school that offers small group classes with well defined levels. Sometimes, children are placed in large classes, and beginners can feel like the ball is constantly beneath the feet of more able players. Classes should not simply consist of playing the game, but rather begin with crucial exercises. These can include doing slalom runs through poles, dribbling the ball through slalom poles, and taking a shot at the goal. Classes should also work on fitness so that when children do compete, they are able to withstand a 20, 40, 50, or 60-minute game (depending on their age) as required. If you can find a female coach, all the better, although ultimately, any coach that gels with your child and makes classes fun and appealing will work fantastically.
Purchasing Your Child’s Soccer Gear
Girls and boys who love fashion are often drawn to a sport by its sports gear. Some of the coolest soccer shirts to score this year include Barcelona’s Stadium Third Jersey (in pink and turquoise), France FFF’s Home Stadium Jersey 20 (in bold blue, dark blue and red), and Portugal’s Strike Drill Jersey in a cool ice mint. You should also invest in a good pair of soccer shoes, which contain spikes that enable players to grip the field better and to avoid slips and falls. If you are looking for a present for a girl’s 10th birthday – i.e. a girl who is old enough to have defined tastes in fashion and entertainment, then try to find their favorite colors and styles in shoes and jerseys, and surprise them on their big day. Other gifts they can use to express and hone various skills include pogo sticks (a great way to improve their fitness levels), animal print socks (they will need several pairs if they play frequently) and a tie-dye kit so they can be inspired to create soccer shirts for their entire team.
Set Goals And Celebrate Achievements
If your child is goal-oriented, then it can help to encourage them to set their own goals. This may include boosting their cardiovascular fitness (use a fitness watch to measure their progress), scoring a goal during the season, or learning to ‘bend’ the soccer ball during a corner shot. When your child achieves small and larger goals alike, celebrate them. Even if your child does not achieve all the goals they set, consistent effort should be celebrated just as enthusiastically so that motivation stays high. Teach your child the value of setting many small goals instead of one big one. Ensure that they understand the importance of setting realistic, fair goals that boost rather than wrest from their confidence.
Invest Time In Learning
As is the case with all other sports, researching, reading and viewing material on soccer can help improve a child’s game. Children need to learn various things in soccer – including the role of each position, the importance of sharing opportunities with other players (instead of ‘hogging’ the ball), and key tactics and strategies that can be used to weaken the opposing team. Children should watch key games played by girls and women so they can try out new techniques or run them by their coach and teammates.
Women’s soccer is at an all-time high, with the U.S. leading the world. To encourage your child to grow an interest in the sport, show them what other women and girls are achieving, and utilize social media and films to pique their interest. Once they express a desire to learn, enrol them in a good school that caters to beginners. The school should make classes fun, but also offer kids the opportunity to compete and set themselves increasingly challenging goals.