5 Facts About Soccer For Kids

Last night, I finally got the chance to go to my first Philadelphia Union soccer game with my family. There were tons of families at the game and the weather was absolutely perfect.  I played soccer as a kid, but now that my son is in love with the sport, I've been learning so much more about the game and really enjoying it. 

The Philadelphia Union stadium is really modern and I don't think there is a bad seat in the house. We were in the corner towards the top, but we had a great view of the field.  Sometimes, it can get overwhelming to take young kids to a huge stadium, but PPL Park is the perfect size and parking is convenient too.  It's also really pretty at sunset.  Look at the pink and purplish colored sky! 

Another benefit to a smaller stadium is that we saw so many friends. We didn't plan on meeting up with anyone, but over the course of the night we saw 4 different families that we knew.  This made it really fun for the kids because they had a chance to watch the game with their buddies. Plus, my husband and I got to chat with some of our friends too.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but my 7-year-old asks TONS of questions. Most of his questions are about the environment, geography and sports.  We have been reading lots of science and sport books trying to quench his thirst for knowledge.  If you have a little soccer lover in your house too, here are 5 facts about soccer to chat with your kids about.

1) Why is soccer good for kids?

According to KidsHealth.org, everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Soccer is a great way for kids to get active which will help them: l

  • have stronger muscles and bones
  • have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
  • be less likely to become overweight
  • decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • have a better outlook on life

2) How long have people been playing soccer?

"People around the world have played soccer-style games for centuries. Games similar to soccer were played in China more than 2,000 years ago. Such games were also played in ancient Greece and Rome. When Pilgrim ships first sailed into the harbors of Massachusetts in the 1620s, they discovered Native Americans playing a soccer-like game called pasuckuakohowog, meaning "they gather to play ball with the foot." (source: U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany: Soccer)

3) How much would it cost to buy a famous soccer team?

Real Madrid, which posted revenue of $650 million during the 2011-12 season, is worth $3.3 billion, more than any team in the world. Manchester United is worth about $3.17 billion and you would need a cool $2.6 billion to buy Barcelona’s soccer team. (source: Forbes)

4) What is FIFA?

FIFA is The Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It is an association governed by Swiss law founded in 1904 and based in Zurich. Their mission is to 'Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.' (source: FIFA
5) When kids play soccer, is it all about winning?
No. Multiple countries across Europe, including the U.K., have adopted the no-score policy at the youth level which clearly it hasn’t hampered their competitiveness or talent pool. Canadian soccer player, David Edgar supports not keeping score in youth games. He says "at that age it’s just about the fundamentals and skills..." (source: The Star)

Soccer is an art not a science and the game should be played attractively as well as effectively. Soccer is a game of skill, imagination, creativity and decision- making. Coaching should not stifle, but enhance those elements.

-  Bobby Howe