Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. According to health.gov.au 3 to 5-year old’s should be physically active every day for at least three hours, spread throughout the day. Along with this, it is recommended that time spent sitting and watching television and the use of other electronic media (DVDs, computer and other electronic games) should be limited to less than one hour per day.
Of course the world of convenience in which we live does not always make it easy for any of us to be as physically active. We now don’t even have to walk to the car to collect out takeaway meal with companies offering food to your door at the click of a button, not to mention the seemingly infinite amount of ‘entertainment’ we have from the comfort of our sofa. With sedentary lifestyle, related diseases such as cancers, depression, anxiety and range of cardiovascular problems on the rise. It would appear that promoting lifelong interest physical activity in our youth is perhaps a small task for a much greater result.
So, what is the answer? Now as a sports coach I am biased, but I believe that getting your young ones involved in organised and fun sporting programs from a young age, goes a long way in promoting the interest in being physical active. In my personal experience of coaching 3 – 5-year old’s in a variety of sports for the past 12 years. Soccer stands out as perhaps the most suitable and all-encompassing activity to meet the physical needs of that age group.
With that said I have put together some of what I believe are the key benefits your child could get by engaging Soccer specifically from an early age:
Improving Gross Motor Skills
Soccer is a sport which will work all parts of the body in a variety of ways. A well-designed Soccer program for 3-5 year old’s develops the key gross motor skills including: running (multi directional), balancing, kicking and catching to name just a few.
Health and Wellbeing
Many of the activities designed for Soccer programs at this age promote speed, flexibility, strength and endurance but hidden within fun and suitably challenging games which capture the imagination of the children.
It is no secret that success in sport can give people a sense of accomplishment. Giving your child the opportunity to play with others and be challenged in a sporting setting is a great way to promote their self-esteem and receive that all important positive reinforcement from the coach.
Soccer can be a great way to get your child out of their shell. As it’s a team sport it promotes playing and interacting with others in a fun environment and building friendships. This environment also encourages other key social skills which will give them a head start as they get older including listening, sharing and communication skills.
At this age, it is important that all activities are fun for the kids. The trick is to make them suitably challenging to aid your child’s development. With good coaching and fun program soccer and sport in general can grab the attention of your child and improve their concentration through listening and following instruction of the coach and solving problems along with performing physical tasks.
Children love to have fun and be challenged. They also have bundles of energy. Channelling all this can be key for their future development. From my own experience and looking at all the facts I truly believe in the benefits of getting children into sport. The trick is to make it fun make it stimulating and make it safe.
At KIKOFF we offer Kikstarters. A program which is specifically designed around this philosophy for your little ones. We believe we are #changingthegame for Australia’s youth.