We might be biased, but at FC Highland, we believe that soccer benefits more than just the body. Soccer, like many other sports, teaches players valuable life skills and lessons they can apply on and off the field. Here are five life lessons and skills that players pick up from soccer.
Soccer is unique compared to other sports like basketball and football because players typically don’t get much instruction from coaches on where to go or how to run a play. Instead, coaches empower players to think on their feet and make judgments quickly. Players learn how to assess a situation and make an independent decision based on the information they have available. This also means that players take ownership of the decisions they make on the field; the calls are their own.
Working as a team is critical to the success of any player. Even the greatest players in the world wouldn’t be where they are without their teammates. In youth leagues like FC Highland, our goal is to create teams of varying skill levels. This encourages players to include and support everyone. Players learn that by not counting someone out and encouraging them instead, they can see overall improvements together.
Soccer is a sport known for low-scoring games; because of that, it teaches patience. Goals take time in soccer (sometimes all game). This teaches players to be persistent and not lose sight of the goal — literally! They have to continuously try and try again in order to score. This also means that when they do score, success is all the sweeter.
Anticipating problems and opportunities
Soccer is a bit like chess in that while players are on the field, they have to anticipate where their opponents are headed or where the ball will go next. That anticipation can help them read the game as well as improve a player’s spatial awareness. This anticipatory thinking can help them in real-life situations. As players get older, they’ll be more proactive in problem-solving because they’re thinking ahead.
For any sport, communication is key. Talking and signaling on the field can alert another player to possible issues or opportunities. Players learn pretty quickly what communication styles work for their teammates and what don’t. This will help kids outside of soccer take into account the best ways to communicate with someone they’re meeting for the first time or figure out a way to get on the same page to accomplish a goal.
At FC Highland, we love seeing kids grow as players — but we especially love to see them grow as people! If you’re looking for a way to get your kid involved with soccer, try our development league. If your child already loves soccer and has experience, register for our competitive league. And if you’ve still got questions for us, contact us and our team will get back to you.