Soccer is a game played by millions around the world. As a soccer mom, Is it wise to let 3-4year-olds play soccer? There are many advantages to 3-4year-old kids playing organized soccer, but there are also some cautions. The benefits and drawbacks of letting your 3-4-year-old play organized soccer are discussed in this article.
Can 3 and 4-year-olds play soccer?
It depends on each child and their level of physical and cognitive development. But most 3 and 4-year-olds are easily able to participate in basic soccer activities, such as running and kicking a ball but may not be able to handle more advanced drills and skills yet.
If you are a soccer mom and you are unsure whether your child is ready for soccer, it is best to wait until they are a bit older and their physical and cognitive development is more advanced. In the meantime, try to encourage your child to participate in basic soccer activities such as running and kicking a ball.
A wise soccer mom can see if their children are having fun and enjoying themselves, they will likely be more motivated to continue playing soccer once they become older.
Why should my child start playing soccer?
There are different milestones that you can expect your children to hit by the ages of 3-4 years old. Please remember that every child is unique and some may reach these milestones sooner or earlier than others. This is just a guide to give you an idea of what you can expect.
Social and Emotional Milestones
This is about introducing your child to friendships and groups. Helping them learn to share, play fair and contribute. Don’t expect too much at this stage. The fact they are willing to go and take part is an achievement in itself. They start to deal with the concept of winning and losing although most won’t take it very well.
|Milestones||What to expect?|
|Social and Emotional||They may want you to stay and watch them and it might be a good idea to join in the session with your child at this age. They can bond with you plus they will notice other children and have the urge to interact with them. |
They enjoy pretending when they are playing so story-based activities are usually well thought off. Shows empathy towards other children who hurt themselves or they are upset.
Lots of encouragement, ball each type activities where the player gets lots of touches. They play fun, imaginative, creative games that encourage dribbling, sharing, and shooting.
Language and Communication
Being around other people, children and parents will naturally help a child with their communication skills. The coach will communicate information to the children and the parents can communicate and clarify information with the child. Things may need to be repeated, and patience is required.
|Milestones||What to expect?|
|Language and comunication||Talks with you in a conversation using at least two back-and-forth exchanges. They might be able to tell what they need to do in simple sentences.|
Asks “who,” “what,” “where,” or “why” questions, like “Where is my ball?
Says what action is happening in a picture when asked, like “running,” “shooting,” or “dribbling”
Answers simple questions like “What is the ball for?” or “What are the goals for?”
Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
Every child will develop at different rates. The progress will be very slow for some and quick for others as a soccer mom, don’t judge your child against others. The game will push them to think and react. Lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement are required.
|Milestones||What you can expect?|
|Cognitive Development||Your child can improve their concept of space, they are aware of where it is and can see it. They will evolve their problem-solving skills, such as ways to score goals or dribble the ball. |
Soccer is a fast-paced game with constantly changing situations. Your child will think faster and respond more quickly. The child will be able to follow the movements of the ball and other players.
They might start predicting what is next if the coach questions them or they see something. For example, a child in goal recognizes they need to save the shot.
Here is a video that links to movement and physical development milestones
Movement, balance, and coordination will develop at different rates. Some children will be better movers than others but lots of involvement in movement-based games such as tag, relays, throwing and catching, etc will enhance motor fitness and physicality. Try not to force things, your child will have a physical asset encourage them to use it to their advantage.
|Milestones||What you can expect?|
|Movement and Physical Development||Coordination and balance skills will improve, throwing and catching, turning and running, dribbling and shooting, and tackling and running with the ball should all improve and progress.|
The ability to change direction quickly will get better. The child might be able to avoid objects in their way, such as dribbling through cones or going past a defender.
The child can speed up or slow down their movements and use them to get out of trouble
What are the pitfalls of my 3-4-year-old child playing soccer?
Living your dream through the child or pushing them too soon. Some parents of 3-4-year-olds enroll their children in soccer classes because they want their child to become the next big thing. The reality is that your child has a very slim probability of becoming a famous soccer player. The more life lessons your child learns while playing a sport, the more probable it is that they will help them become a better adult.
As a soccer mom, your sole focus at this age should be fun and enjoyment. If you see coaches and environments that are not fun and engaging, you should consider moving to another team, club, or community-based session.
As a soccer Soccer is fantastic because even very young children can play it. A preschool-aged child could feel unnecessary pressure if winning is stressed too early in life. More likely than your ordinary playground bully to undermine a child’s self-esteem are overbearing parents who yell at them while watching them play soccer.
Early specialization can be a problem when starting this young. As a caring soccer mom, be sure to encourage your child to do a variety of sporting activities, not just soccer. Good community-based soccer programs will encourage your child to take part in other games and sports. A varied program at this age is excellent for a child’s physical and cognitive development.
In short, it is ok for your 3-4-year-old child to start playing soccer. The children can take part and participate but don’t expect too much of them. They will start to master the technical skills of the game and learn to follow basic instructions.
With time and effort, the child will go through further development, socially, cognitively, and physically this won’t just develop their soccer skills but will also teach your child to love learning, enjoy participating and interact socially.
Soccer moms need to be aware of the pitfalls of playing soccer. Parents living their dreams through their child, putting too much pressure or expectation on the child, and early specialization are factors that could hinder your child’s development in the game.
Try to emphasize, fun, enjoyment, and friendship at these early ages and the journey will be a much better one for soccer moms and parents.
Is soccer good for a 3-year-old?
Ages 3 to 6 Are a Good Time to Introduce Kids to Soccer
Although it is still too early to anticipate a major level of athletic development, participating in soccer can have other advantages that can be valuable to a young child.
How do you coach a 3 and 4-year-old?
At these ages, it is important to have fun and ensure that every child has access to a ball. This will maximize the number of touches they get. Keep the practice engaging and limit waiting in lines to participate. The coach needs to show lots of enthusiasm and be positive with the kids they are coaching.
What can I expect from 3-year-old soccer?
They are expected to get along with other people and are typically reprimanded if they don’t. At this age, “play” does not resemble a competitive soccer match. These children’s play typically has no clear objective, is unstructured concerning time, and can begin and end at the child’s choosing.
Links to similar content
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- The Best Soccer Drills for Kids
- What Age Should My Kid Start Playing Soccer? (And how to get started)
- 3 Fun Soccer Coaching Drills for 3 – 4 Year Old’s