The question of when should children start to play football is more likely to be answered by asking when a child could start playing. Children develop their motor skills at different rates, so whilst it might be a father’s dream for their son, or daughter, to play football as soon as they can walk, many children won’t have developed the coordination.
Some parents will encourage their children to go to clubs once they start school, but others start encouraging their children much younger. As a two-year-old, children have a huge capacity to learn, whether language or music or a sport like football. Their balance is improving and they’re increasing their speed.
Toddling And dribbling
Babies and very young children are often given balls as toys; they come in bright colours, they’re easy to touch and pick up, and children as used to seeing the shapes from an early age. Why not then encourage them to touch the balls with their feet as well as their mouths and hands? Show them very simple skills as children love to learn by copying and use it as part of your regular play time.
A football player who will achieve any amount of success will need to learn control. Kicking a football is not just about power; if there is no direction and no placing of the ball, there is nothing gained.
As a child though, it’s more important than ever that their experience with football is fun. If there is pressure or restriction, it will quickly lose its interest and appeal. Once they’re a little bit older, they can start getting involved with something more structured like the Football Association’s Play Football scheme. Once they’re taking it seriously like that, and attending regular sessions, it might be time to look into team football kits, either in the strip of your favourite club, or the local team. Check out businesses like Kit King www.kitking.co.uk to see the options available.
Think how quickly your child picked up other skills, like how to swipe through photos on a smartphone or change the channel using a remote control, and then think again whether they might be too young for a football. It will depend on each child though and they shouldn’t be compared to friends or siblings.