Soccer is a wonderful sport for kids of all ages to get involved in. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also a great way for them to get active, stay fit, meet new people and learn new skills.
And as a parent, you’ll be relieved to hear that there’s not too much gear required for you little one to get started. Take a look…
1. Soccer Boots
This is first on the list because it’s one of the most important things you’ll purchase for your child when they start playing soccer.
Soccer boots are also known as ‘cleats’, which is the name of the specific stoppers on the bottom of the sole. For playing on hard surfaces, longer wedge-shaped boots are ideal and for softer surfaces shorter cleats are best. If your child will be playing on both surface types throughout the season, you can purchase soccer boots that come with removable cleats so they can be swapped over when needed. The club, or store you’re buying from, will be able to give you some guidance.
When choosing the right pair, it’s important that the boots fit properly and feel supportive. This helps to avoid injuries and blisters. Unfortunately, it’s not always appropriate to use hand-me-down soccer boots if they’re well worn, as after a while they can stop providing the foot support that a young player needs.
2. Their own soccer ball
Once they start playing soccer, your child will want to practice and improve their skills. To do this, they need to have a quality soccer ball of their own that is similar weight and style to the ones they play competition with. There are a few things to keep in mind:
– Soccer balls come in different sizes depending on the age of the child, so make sure you’re getting the right fit for them.
– Soccer balls can vary significantly in cost and quality, so you’ll need to work out what you can invest. Better quality is generally more cost-effective in the long run, as some of the cheaper balls deteriorate much faster with general wear and tear of use.
3. Shin Guards
Shin pads are worn under long socks and come in two varieties: one slips over the foot like a sock and the other straps around the calf with Velcro. They’re important for players of all age groups as the shins will be one of the most vulnerable parts of their body. Although soccer is not a violent sport, shin pads are important to protect them in heavy tackles and from possible cuts and injuries during the game. As with any gear, it’s important that they are the correct size and thickness for your child in order to provide proper, comfortable protection.
Getting their uniform is often a really exciting stage for a budding soccer player. Their shirt – or jersey as it’s often called – identifies the team they’re on and provides a sense of connectedness with their teammates. These jerseys can be long or short sleeved, and most of the time the cost is covered in the registration when you join the club.
You’ll need soccer shorts and socks, both of which are slightly different from standard issue. Soccer shorts are made of specifically soft yet durable material to allow for lots of movement and stretching during play. Socks are also thicker and longer than normal socks and they provide an extra protection from blisters (as well as keeping shin guards in place). The colour needed for these items is generally determined by the club they’re playing with.
Beyond that, make sure they’ve got their own water bottle too so that it’s easy for them to stay hydrated through matches and training sessions.
Soccer is a fantastic team sport for boys and girls of all ages. As you can see from this article, getting your child involved in soccer is very simple as it doesn’t require you to purchase a lot of equipment to get them started.
You can find soccer camps in Sydney or in an area that’s local to you.