What a Mom Should Know About Soccer

As a mom completely new to the game of soccer, you probably have a lot of questions. Why is soccer so popular, especially as a children's sport?

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How can you ensure that your child is happy, healthy, and successful in soccer? What kind of commitment is expected from you and your family?

This guide hopefully will clear up any questions you have and help you be the best mom you can be.

1. Why Play Soccer?

There are many reasons to choose soccer as a children's activity. First, it is a very active sport that encourages physical fitness.

At a time when too many children suffer health problems from a sedentary lifestyle, soccer allows kids to be kids—active and outdoors. Second, soccer develops positive personality traits.

Teamwork, cooperativeness, dedication, and a solid work ethic are just a few of the long list of qualities that soccer teaches children.

Last, soccer teaches children about healthy competition as well as how to be a gracious winner and loser. These will help a child in their school career and in their adult lives as well.

2. Choosing a League

In most areas, there are a variety of leagues available. You will want to choose one based upon the cost of participating, the required commitment, the practice schedule, and other logistical factors.

You should also consider whether the skill level matches your child's and how well the coaches are trained to help young players develop both as soccer players and human beings.

3. Choosing Equipment

The next step is to choose the equipment that your child needs for soccer. Your child's coach will likely give you a list of necessary equipment, which usually includes a ball, cleats, shin guards, a water bottle, and practice clothing.

You may also need a bag to carry belongings and equipment to practice as well as cones and a small goal for practice at home.

It's important to keep both price and quality in mind when selecting these and any other soccer equipment.

While you don't want to break the bank for a child's sport, you don't want your child to have the disadvantage that comes from substandard and low quality gear.

4. Preventing Injury

Good cleats and other equipment are the first step toward preventing injury. Another key factor is making your child take care of themselves.

Make sure your child is adequately fed and hydrated before practice. Then, the child should warm up and stretch out properly before beginning strenuous activity.

Practice should be strenuous, but contain a mix of active and more sedentary activities.

Every practice should end with a cool-down period and a pat on the back for good work. Even if you and your child's coach do everything possible to prevent injury in practice, they still may occur.

You can be prepared by knowing first aid and carrying a first aid kit. This will allow you to deal with minor injuries appropriately as well as to keep a more seriously injured stable until medical care can be procured.

5. Encouraging Success

It's not unusual for moms to go to extremes. Some are avid fans, pacing the sidelines to cheer for their children or holler tips on playing the game.

These parents may think they are supporting their children, but they are usually more distracting and embarrassing then helpful.

At the other end of the spectrum is the mom who spends practice on her cell phone or doesn't stay to watch at all.

The best way to encourage success is by being in the middle of these extremes. Attend practices and games, and watch with interest, but don't be the loud or interfering parent.

Focus not on wins and losses, instead encouraging improvement and hard work. As a mom, your mission is to support your child and their team, not to dominate, coach, or meddle.

6. Being Prepared

As a mom, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child arrives at each practice in appropriate attire with all necessary protective equipment.

You should also bring a full water bottle and a snack. You may want to bring food and drink for yourself as well. If you have a first aid kit and a cell phone, you are also prepared for emergencies.

Some teams have parents rotate bringing a healthy snack for all of the children. If this is the case for your team, make sure your bring enough for everyone, including any team siblings who may be present, as well as a cooler to keep the snacks cool in warm weather.

7. Balancing Soccer with Other Activities

It's easy to get caught up in too many activities, but this is rarely a recipe for success. In order to be successful in soccer, your child will need to attend all practices and games as well as put in time practicing at home.

This can easily be balanced with schoolwork and chores, but not with schoolwork, chores, and a long list of other activities.

If your child wants to learn how to play soccer, they should cut back on other extracurricular activities and sports during the season.

You should encourage your child to practice soccer often, but not at the expense of social relationships and schoolwork. Learning to balance multiple activities is a key factor in adult success, so they will take this lesson into the rest of their lives.

8. Soccer as a Family Sport

When one child plays soccer, their siblings will also want to get in on the action. Soccer quickly moves from one child's hobby to the entire family's favorite pastime.

If you have multiple children in soccer, you may want to arrange carpooling with another team parent or have your spouse and family help you with transporting children to practices and games.

Being a mom is a full time job, so if you have more than one child in soccer you should plan on needing a little assistance.

Don't forget to occasionally take time for yourself, or you may become burned out and unable to give your children the enthusiasm and support they need and desire.

If your spouse and other family members can occasionally attend games, your child will truly feel like a star.

There is nothing as rewarding as looking at the crowd and seeing a large group of faces supporting you and cheering for you.


Soccer is a sport with social as well as athletic value. It can build strong bodies, strong minds, and a sense of citizenship.

Under the right circumstances, soccer can bring families closer and give them a time to share with each other. As a mom, you are more than a chauffeur; you are the facilitator of a healthy attitude and a healthy lifestyle.

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