How to Encourage Children to Play Football
If you’re a football fan yourself, you may want your children to develop a love for the beautiful game too. There are plenty of health and wellbeing benefits to getting into football as well as (hopefully) a shared interest.
However, there’s a fine line between being encouraging and being pushy. With that being said, there are plenty of ways you can give your child a gentle push in the right direction.
Kick a Football
It’s as simple as that. There is no easier or more effective way to get your child into football than giving them a ball and letting them loose. Chances are, you won’t even need to suggest kicking it.
There’s no need to overcomplicate things if this is your child’s first experience with a football. For younger children, simply kicking the ball and seeing how it moves is a great way to provoke interest and enjoyment.
Watching other people do something often makes children want to try it out for themselves. A full-length football match is probably too much for younger children with little interest in the sport, but YouTube highlights of goals and skills may well do the trick.
This can be taken one step further by introducing your child to your favourite team. Whether it’s a local club or one of Europe’s elite, show clips of your team to your child and explain why you support them. If possible, take them to live games or purchase replica kits – they will likely develop a connection in no time.
Play for Fun
Football doesn’t have to be hyper-competitive, especially at a young age. Children will be attracted to football because it’s fun – winning can come later. Playing non-competitive football without keeping scores will still develop a fondness for the sport as long as your child is enjoying themselves and having fun.
All the while, their skills will naturally improve with practice and without too much guidance. If you’d like to occasionally offer a suggestion to improve their technique, this is a good way to do it. However, make sure not to overload them with information and to take things slowly.
Get Friends and Family Involved
Football is inherently a group activity, so there’s no reason not to get others involved. Arrange playdates with their friends and bring a ball along to the park or encourage older brothers and sisters to play. Getting more people involved helps improve teamwork and crucially, is way more fun.
Look Out for Local Events
Building on the idea of getting others involved, local events can be a great way for your child to make new friends. Family fun days, fairs and impromptu kickabouts at the park can really captivate your child’s imagination.
Moving one step up, consider organized football sessions and soccer schools. These can provide a fun and encouraging environment for your child to learn the basics of football whilst making new friends and gaining confidence. If you live in the London area, Samba Soccer Schools has multiple venues across the capital, each with friendly, qualified coaches.
For more information on Samba Soccer Schools and what we offer, click here.
How do you introduce your child to soccer?
The tips in this article are an excellent starting point for anyone unsure about how to get their child interested in football.
At what age can I take my child to a football game?
You can take your child to a football game at any age, but it’s worth waiting until they are old enough to appreciate what is happening and really enjoy the occasion.
How can I improve my child’s soccer skills?
You will find plenty of info on our blog with lots of great tips.
How do I get my child interested in football?
The above article is a good place to start. If your child is not taking to football, don’t panic. Some children only take an interest when they’re a bit older. Of course, if your child isn’t into football, that is also perfectly fine!