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How to get kids playing football

Football can provide children with exercise. It also teaches them the value of team work and provides a sense of achievement. The varied roles of goalkeeper, defender and striker provide a variety of challenges for them. Nevertheless, how do you get your children to start?

Spectating

Watching football on TV can generate an interest for the game, but it may not be enough to get your child’s full attention. Hence, taking them to a game can be the key. Watching Premier League and Championship football can be expensive, but spectating football doesn’t need to be so. Attending matches at smaller clubs in your area, which are found in the lower divisions of the Football League or even are some of the semi-professional leagues below the Football League, could help to develop your child's interest in football. Once the interest is there and the child wants to play, he will need to learn some basic skills.

Teaching basic techniques

It is more likely that your child will have to pick up some basic techniques from watching the game and from other kids whilst playing football in the playground. However, the first technique to learn is ball control. This is the technique of controlling the ball when it is passed to you and is a skill that you can practise with your child. It’s a football’s equivalent of catch and simply involves you to kick the ball at different heights with their feet, chest or head to other players. The child can also practise this by kicking a ball against a wall and controlling the rebound. Other skills like passing the ball and shooting can be fostered from this practice.

Local clubs

With a few basic skills, the child can begin to play the game. However, there are many rules to understand and a lot of other skills to learn. This may arise from rules like taking penalties, free kicks and corners. Hence, the next stage of their development has to be through a club. There are many local clubs playing in youth leagues which are divided into age groups. These clubs will carry out at least one training session a week and will conduct regular matches across the season. There are prizes to be won, including a league title and 'Man of the Match' awards. Hence, there are plenty of opportunities for your child to gain a sense of achievement from playing football.

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