17 things kids find the most fun about playing soccer

What is the most fun thing about playing soccer?

That’s the question I set out to answer when I attended my local club’s house league kick-off day. As I stood at the front entrance of the indoor turf field, I could feel the excitement, anticipation, and anxiety in the air.

For some, it would be their rookie season. A season of firsts – first pass, first goal, first time being part of a team. For others, a summer tradition was beginning yet again. Regardless of prior experience, I wanted to know the surprising things that kids loved about soccer. And for the newbies, what were they looking forward to most?

Not so shockingly, scoring goals was the most popular answer across the board. And why wouldn’t it be? Scoring goals is the essence of soccer. But this shouldn’t be confused with winning, which accounted for only one answer during the entire day.

The reaction after a child scores their first goal is one of the most defining moments for me in the game. It’s pure joy. So I wasn’t surprised when so many children categorized scoring as the most fun part of soccer.

In close second, which initially puzzled me, was kicking the ball. Kicking is a fundamental movement skill in soccer, and one that can be difficult to learn. Most children first kick a ball using their toe, frequently called a “toe punt” in the soccer community.

However, kicking with the instep or “laces”, as I like to coach, requires considerable coordination and strength. It’s no wonder kids love kicking the ball once learned correctly, it’s a hard skill to master! And kicking sometimes leads to the best part of soccer: scoring.

These are two of the many fun things about playing soccer. Kicking the ball and scoring goals are essential parts of the sport, but not all reasons for playing have to do with the game. Getting a new jersey, bonding with teammates, and making up cheers are all parts of soccer that kids love.

It brings a new perspective to the saying, “Winning isn’t everything.” But oranges at half-time just might be.

Fun things about playing soccer (in no particular order):

  1. Running fast
  2. “My friends on my street are on my team”
  3. ‘Deking’ out players (fave move: nutmeg)
  4. “Being #5 like my brother”
  5. “The feeling you get when you score a goal”
  6. Half-time snack
  7. Meeting new people
  8. Shooting
  9. Playing defence
  10. “Scoring 100 goals”
  11. Dancing in the change room
  12. Goal celebrations
  13. “Playing goalie because I get to hold the ball”
  14. Teamwork and passing
  15. Learning new ‘moves’
  16. “My dad is my coach” / “My mom is my coach”
  17. “Playing again”

7 responses to “17 things kids find the most fun about playing soccer

  1. Dad took me to my first game at 7 months. Played my first ever game at 5. Scored in my 3rd ever game. Played Basketball, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis and Table Tennis. But nothing beats football/soccer for me. Seeing moments of magic at the club I’d die for, travelling 2 and a half hours to see us lose may sound bad, but it’s the away day experience on a cold Tuesday night that makes it worthwhile. Then playing it. Oh. It’s lovely, amazing, beautiful. What makes it better than American football and rugby is that you need to think and make every pass count whereas in Rugby and American football you can smash through players and give them concussions but as it isn’t against the rules, you can’t do much. But as football has limited contact, it makes it even tougher as tackles need to be inch perfect. Too early and you’ve missed the ball, too late and then you’ve given a foul away and could get a yellow card or red card if it it’s dangerous. And every player is built differently. In most sports all players are built in a similar way. In football you could have average upper body strength but still be the Greatest ever player. Or you could be like Gennaro Gattuso where you are only 5ft 8 but are still the most feared player on the pitch. That is why football is best sport on the planet.

    1. @emanuel you were probably too good at the game for other players and they were no competition, so the game got boring. If this isn’t the case, maybe soccer became a boring routine or chore for you like it did for me. To rekindle my love for soccer, I learned new things about the game, etc.

    2. I started playing when I was 7 or 6 and I’m still playing at 12. Once you’re into it you just get hooked. I mean I complain if my parents make me miss a game. Soccer for me … is just a way to just run around as much as I want and kicking stuff. If you have anger issues soccer is a very good way to get it out. I mean football you are constantly getting hurt. what’s the fun in that.

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