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Why Soccer is Great for Kids

Soccer, or football as it is referred to in every country outside of America, is the world’s most beloved of all the sports. It is no accident that the rewards of playing soccer are multi-faceted and far-reaching. Playing soccer bolsters mental, physical, and social health for players in all walks of life.

In addition to avoiding the negative consequences of inactivity like staving off diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, sports like soccer also have positive benefits above and beyond just fighting disease. While it is important to think about these things, Viking Sports embraces a more strengths-based model. A surefire way to build strong bones for those who are able is exercise that involves running in some capacity. Soccer involves plenty of running, and it also develops and fine-tunes the musculature system during practice of skills such a shooting the ball. Playing soccer therefore maintains heart health, bone health, and muscle health. Any physical activity is also tied to brain health because it taps into the “feel good” chemicals in the body! Everyone needs a healthy amount of pleasure in their lives to keep these chemicals flowing and lead happy and fulfilled lives. We encourage your child to give soccer a try, and if soccer isn’t the right activity for him or her, there are also plenty of other ways to stay healthy and active to explore.

Soccer in particular is great for mental health. Soccer is typically a low-scoring game in comparison to other sports. Therefore, in soccer players learn and develop the skill of delay of gratification and coaches guide them toward finding value in other aspects of the game. At Viking, passes or attempts at passes are rewarded with high-fives. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, the goal of soccer is actually two-fold. Team players have to work together to score the ball in the opponent’s goal AND keep the opposing team from scoring in their goal. Through this compound goal-structure, soccer players also develop dual-process thinking, which then generalizes into other domains in development. The strength of the sports and recreation system transfers into other systems such as school and even family relationships, as well as providing children with an outlet for fun, pleasurable activities.

Organized sports like soccer are some of the first communities through which children learn different ways of contributing to society. We hope that someday all of our Viking campers will move into different roles in society and be able to use the skills they learned in a fun way playing soccer into their future careers. Soccer players are constantly learning how to respect one another and the rules of the game, play honestly, work hard at their goals and support one another in their different roles. Goal attainment is achieved through delay of gratification and a multi-level understanding the importance of the various tasks of players in different positions. These tasks are coordinated into defense and offense strategies through dual-process thinking. These skills are learned primarily through modeling in our youngest groups at Viking in simple versions of the game, and are successively titrated up with skill specific training as players advance. We also hold soccer specific clinics on Saturdays and offer a limited number of soccer specific summer camps in addition to our multi-sports summer camp if your kid takes to the sport.

Granted that it is a lifelong process, the vast significant majority of all development takes place in early childhood. Therefore, to maximize the intrinsic benefits to the mind and body of The Beautiful Game it’s in your child’s best interest to start early. However, it’s never too late to try a new sport, and soccer might be just the activity you’re looking for. We encourage parents to practice with your children at home and reap the same benefits of the world’s most beloved sport along with all of us here at Viking. Contact Viking Sports Camps today to get involved in the action at a field near you! Email: Phone: (508) 358-5066