For any Christian family, trying to find a sport that your child can play that is going to help them improve their physical qualities while enjoying many other values can be tough. Some see American football as tough—it’s too cutthroat and has too much rough-housing. Some see basketball as very limited as to who can actually succeed at it. Baseball might not be your option either, so find a sport your child can be enthused and entertained by.
Taking our eyes off the American lens for a second, though, why not enjoy the global sport that is soccer?
Over the years, I’ve watched all of my children take part in soccer. It was one of the best decisions I ever made to have them participate. I’ve watched each of them grow up into intelligent people who are caring about the game and who have helped to pass on its most positive message and vision to the next generation.
I’ve watched beaming with pride as they and their teammates and coach all work together to claim wins and trophies. I’ve felt a numbing elation at seeing them score the winning goal – and for one of my children, seeing them make an outstanding last minute block on the line to help his side with a youth championship.
Believe me, when I first got started, I thought it was something to help them stay fit and distracted. When I see my kids taking part in these landmark moments—and how happy it made everyone around us—I’d lose it. I’d wind up several paces from where I was standing beforehand, and I’d find myself cuddling away with strangers in sheer elation as we cheered them on. It was amazing, and it’s truly one of the best decisions I ever made.
If I could recommend anything for a youth a take part in, it’s soccer.
What Makes Soccer So Special for Youth Development?
Despite “only” being the fourth largest American sport, soccer is the perfect game for any young child to play. If you are looking for a sport that can pass on the importance of physical prowess, technical improvement, a devotion to the craft, an understanding of teamwork, and also the importance of discipline, then no sport in the world can offer such a variety like soccer.
I’ve watched as my kids have learned to be great team players in soccer and in life. Watching their progression from ball-addicts who now pass it to teammates and play with a selfless drive is something that I cannot recommend enough for parents.
It helps kids to mature very quickly, and they get used to the idea that winning the game for the team is less important than the team winning the game together. If that means playing a pass to an open teammate, they’ll do it.
Honestly, I also found that playing helped my children develop a much better discipline in life, too. They became much more methodical, far more capable of listening to critique and actually acting on it. Also, I got to watch their problem solving skills improve tenfold; they worked out that if they could problem solve on the pitch in real-time, they could it in any other walk of life.
Basically, I found that soccer was the ultimate team sport. It helped my young ones become brilliant young minds, and it helped me massively as a parent. Forget the stereotypes—soccer breeds talented, committed, well-coached, disciplined, and intelligent sports players.
It also creates good people who learn strong Christian values through the ethics of the sport that makes it so popular. Add in the worldwide appeal and the great youth development opportunities in America, and you never know—what starts out as a great tool for personal development could see your kids going to the top of the professional tree!
I’d never watched much soccer at all until my kids got involved. Now, it’s my #1 sport. I can assure you that through the development opportunities in soccer that you will see your children become better athletes and human beings in general. It’s the best decision I ever made for their futures, and couldn’t recommend it enough.