Active for Life: Soccer

Soccer is the largest sport in Canada with roughly 500,000 kids ages 4-12 playing the game. With all of those soccer balls being kicked, physical literacy has to figure big in the development of our players.

Active for Life has information, advice, and resources for parents who want to raise successful young soccer players with a good foundation in physical literacy. Check out these articles:

Top 5 reasons kids play sports

Study after study comes up with the same result. Kids play sports for the fun of it. And not having fun is one of the major reasons 70 percent of kids quit playing sports by the time they’re 13.

7 reasons soccer is essential for kids

Just about any sport or physical activity will help to develop physical literacy and good movement skills. However, if you had to pick one sport that developed the most skills and capacities, it would have to be soccer.

young-soccer-player_grass_ballHow to get your child started in soccer

If your child wants to play soccer after watching the World Cup, here are tips to get kids started in soccer from ages 3-5 years, ages 5-7 years, and ages 7-12 years along the lines of soccer Long Term Player Development (LTPD).

father-son-park-soccerIt’s easy to play soccer with your kids

Here are some easy suggestions for how to have fun with a soccer ball in your own backyard or at a local park.

Specialization: What does it really mean?

Early and premature sport specialization creates the danger that children will get overuse injuries and burnout; thus parents need to start by understanding what specialization means.

reading-by-sockket_612You’ll be amazed by these soccer balls from around the world

No matter what part of the world in which they live, kids just love to play. It cultivates their imagination, often leading them to creative solutions like the ones these youngsters around the world discovered when creating their own soccer balls.

Video on children’s soccer says everything about what’s wrong and what’s right

The Ontario Soccer Association OSA video on LTPD Grassroots soccer shows how Long Term Player Development for soccer and Long Term Athlete Development in general works to develop children sport skills. A great LTPD video for soccer parents to learn about age-appropriate kids soccer skills training.

Can you guess the one thing that most elite athletes have in common?

Coaches, elite athletes, sport scientists, and medical professionals all weigh in on the merits of the multi-sport approach to sport training.

John Herdman: Our kids need Play Angels

John Herdman, the head coach of Canada’s national women’s soccer team, says play angels can be parents who help kids develop physical literacy through free unstructured play. Parents simply volunteer time to supervise childrens unstructured free play.

Inner city soccer and girls in white lace

This kids soccer program in two elementary schools helps in developing physical literacy and provides activity for underprivileged children who need regular daily physical activity.

How playing multiple sports is good for your kids

Kids benefit from participating in as many different sports and physical activities as possible while they are learning movement and sport skills.

Size matters when it comes to playing fields for kids

Kids need rinks and playing fields that are age-appropriate. To an 8-year old child, 50 yards feels like 100. So when children play in an adult-sized space, they’re playing on a surface that’s at least twice as big as what they can handle.

What’s going on with soccer in Ontario?

Eliminating soccer league standings by the Ontario Soccer Association is important to promote long term player development according to the Canadian Soccer Association CSA model.

League standings or not, kids will still learn how to accept loss

Soccer league standings are part of an engineered competition structure designed for adults, not kids. Kids feel disappointment with a loss, but forget it after a few hours, and still tend to learn about winning and losing even without standings.

Kids’ soccer: Allow mistakes and forget about winning

Soccer league standings are part of an engineered competition structure designed for adults, not kids. Kids feel disappointment with a loss, but forget it after a few hours, and still tend to learn about winning and losing even without standings.

Soccer: Skills, not trophies, lead to success

The long-term player development model provides coaches and parents with guidelines to make sure kids soccer skills are learned the right way at the right age for long-term success in soccer.

Soccer: Skills before games for child players

The long-term player development model for soccer promotes fundamental skills practice before soccer games for children and kids soccer.

Find a quality soccer program

Get your child the right introduction to soccer by making sure they learn the correct skills and have positive experiences. The Canadian Soccer Association has recommendations for all age groups.

Soccer for kids: Build skills, goals will come

Soccer teams should not be so concerned with results says Bart Choufour, head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps Under 14 and 15 residency team. Instead, players should be encouraged to become creative, confident players.

Get the entire family playing pickup soccer

Soccer is a great game for the entire family to play. Here are some modified rules for creating games of pickup soccer that allow kids all ages to play together and enjoy physical activity.

Cheering on the boys from Panyee

This documentary film is about a group of boys living on a floating fishing village in Thailand who love soccer, and who create their own place to play.

English soccer goes kid-friendly

The English Football Academy is emphasizing small-sided mini games and skill development for children who are learning to play soccer.


Why isn’t there a soccer league for my 4-year-old?

Toddlers and preschoolers need to learn fundamental movements skills before they’re ready to learn the more complicated skills required in structure activities and sports.

What do you think?