If you’ve been thinking about signing your child up for football training, you may be wondering if they’re ready. After all, we’ve all seen the kids who have been pressured into sport too early, and they often refuse to play a few years later as a result.
Football should be fun, and training should be something your child looks forward to. Here are some signs your child may be ready for football training:
They’ve asked to play football
This one seems obvious, but if your kids have repeatedly expressed interest in playing football, it’s a good sign that they may be ready to begin training. They may have a friend who plays, they may have been exposed during lunchtime at school, or maybe they’ve watched some professional games on TV or the internet.
If your child tells you that they want to learn to play football, they likely have a real passion for the sport.
They play in their free time
If you notice that your child is continually kicking a ball back and forth with their friends, this is a great sign that they could be ready for football training. You may hear about the football games they played at lunch, or after school, and if you ask them, they may be able to explain a few of the rules to you. You may even see your child practicing by themselves in the backyard, which shows real dedication that could be channeled into football training.
They’re emotionally mature
Kids mature at different speeds- both physically and mentally. When they play football, they may be exposed to gentle competition for the first time. If they’re shy or haven’t spent much time playing sports with other kids, it can be challenging for them to interact with teammates. Of course, football can help your kids with many of these issues, but they will need some level of emotional maturity as well.
Ask yourself how well your child handles competition, even when you’re playing friendly games as a family. Do they win and lose well, or do they tend to throw a tantrum when things don’t go as planned? Do they tend to share their toys well with their siblings, or do they insist on being the only one allowed to play with certain toys?
If you think your child is ready for the highs and lows of a team sport, it’s a good idea to sign them up for a trial so they can see what football training is all about.
They understand the sacrifice
Often smaller kids want to play football, but they soon get fed up with weekly training sessions and games. Both you and your child need to be ready to make practice each week, and a game on the weekend.
Have a talk with your kids about what football training means. On days when they have practice, they may have less playtime after school or may miss their favourite cartoons. They need to understand that even when they don’t feel like going to practice, if they’ve made a commitment they need to turn up (unless, of course, they’re unwell or injured).
You’ve found a great club
The best football clubs will cater for kids of all ages and abilities. That means that no matter your child’s experience with football, they’ll be able to grow their skills and have fun with the help of supportive coaches.
Once you’ve found an excellent club, the age of your child matters much less than their excitement about the sport, and willingness to train each week. A great club will usually offer a free trial, so your child can try it out and see if they have fun. You can also determine if your child is ready for football by seeing how they interact with the coaches and other kids.