Soccer – A Healthy Pastime The Whole Family Can Enjoy!

If you’re reading this then you’re probably looking for a way to get your kids (or your parents!) out into the fresh air and enjoying a bit of exercise. Sadly in today’s world of technology it’s a lot more common to see kids playing sports on game consoles than in person, but with a bit of imagination you can get your youngsters away from the TV and out into the yard. One good way to do this is with a game of family soccer.

Why on earth would you want to play soccer as a family?

Here are 7 very good reasons.

1. Social Interaction

Game consoles, TVs, iPods and laptops are known to promote social awkwardness in children, and especially when it comes to interacting with their parents (you probably already know this though). Soccer on the other hand is a social game that requires players to work together in order to win. This makes it a great way of strengthening the bonds between family members while also giving you, as a parent, the chance to spend some quality time with your kids minus a game controller!

2. No Skills Required

You don’t need to be David Beckham to play family soccer, and in fact the worse you all are at the game the more fun you’ll have. The whole point is to have fun while getting healthy, so don’t worry if you can’t kick the ball in a straight line or you don’t understand the rules – just make them up if you want to and call them your ‘family rules’.

3. Anyone Can Play

The game of soccer is not restricted to one type of person so every member of the family can join in. Swap and change the teams each game to provide healthy competition. Try girls versus boys, kids versus adults or have a game of penalty shoot-outs where everyone takes a turn in goal. The options for soccer are limitless, and you can play regardless of age, gender, fitness and skill.

4. Healthy Exercise

It’s a documented fact that less than a third of American children get the recommended amount of exercise for a healthy body each day. It’s also a documented fact that over 60% of Americans are now officially classed as being overweight or obese. Soccer played as a family is a fun way of giving your kids, and yourself, a healthy dose of exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is known to stimulate the release of endorphins in the brain, which in turn produce feelings of happiness and contentment. Add this to the fresh air you’ll all get while kicking the ball around and soccer really is a great way to get healthy and happy all at the same time.

5. Inexpensive

Soccer is in no way an expensive sport to take up with the family. You don’t need fancy equipment, fancy clothing or specialized training. All you need is a ball, a soccer net and a space to play. If you really want to make family soccer a regular pastime you might want to think about investing in a durable net like the Franklin Tournament Soccer Goal. If you are just starting out though, you can always use a couple of planters, or even a couple of garden chairs to mark the goal.

6. Play at Home

The fact that you don’t need a huge space to play family soccer is a big selling point for a lot of families, and most families that already indulge in the sport do so in their own backyards. Don’t worry if you have limited space in your backyard though, because you can always have a single goal post and alternate between being the attacking team and the defending team. Again this injects a bit of friendly competition between teams, and makes the game much more fun.

7. It Really is Fun

Any sport played as a family can be made fun, including soccer. The fact that you’re having fun as a family is often enough to make kids forget that they’re doing exercise and getting healthy. You could even find creative ways of earning “points” during the games so that you could award small prizes for ‘most improved player’ or ‘most goals scored against dad’ etc. This is often very motivational for kids. Soccer is, in short, a great way of bringing the family together, of having fun, and of getting fit and healthy at the same time. The question has to be therefore, why aren’t you out there playing right now?

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