April 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #200: Soccer

Tip of the Week

Soccer is the perfect game to develop a preschooler for any athletic endeavor and a great sport for burning off lots of excess energy. Good programs don't focus on winning, or even scoring goals. A professional curriculum should be designed to develop motor skills, promote physical fitness, and create self-confidence in young children. It should stress a noncompetitive environment and promote fun above all else. Some of the skills your preschooler will learn are: following directions, kicking, running control, teamwork, balance, and aim. Since most preschoolers are hard wired to learn through play, the best programs will utilize their motivation to develop athletic skills and fitness through a series of fun and beneficial games.

Is your preschooler ready for soccer? The only way to know for sure is to try it! Many programs begin at the age of 18 months, however they require parent participation because the children at that age are often unsure of what is expected and require additional help. Beginning at age 3, most preschoolers will be able to join a class independently and do quite well.  Check with your local provider; some programs offer parents the option of coming in for a trial class to see how their child likes it.

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