Soccer has become a sport played
by much of suburban America. A
good majority of the kids at your
school will play recreational soccer
at some point in their youth. With
soccer becoming a staple of the
suburban family's diet, why not add
it to your schools list of program
options for parents. Parents will
appreciate the specialty soccer
class that encourages kids to enjoy
the sport in friendly atmosphere.
Youth Soccer Keeps On Growing and Growing...
According to soccernova.com:
At the non-professional level, soccer is doing as well as ever, with fields flooded on Saturday mornings with minivans, orange slices and 5-year-olds chasing balls like swarms of honey-hungry bees. The US is already a significant soccer country. According to the Soccer Industry Council of America, more than 17 million Americans play soccer and the number is growing strongly (compared to over 2.9 million active players in England). Soccer is the #1 youth participation sport in the US with over 3.6 million under 19s registered to play, a number which has been expanding at over 8% per annum since 1990. According to the Soccer Industry Council of America, 18.2 million Americans played organized soccer in 1999, with 13.8 million under 18. Also, high school participation increased by 65 percent between 1987-99, the council said. Among youth 12-17, soccer participation rose 20% to 6 million (from 5 million). While other team sports like softball (-12%); baseball (-7%); volleyball (-3%) and basketball (-2%) experienced losses. SICA reports 41% of all soccer households have incomes $75,000 and above.
Balance, control, and coordination are the three key developmental elements children need. Soccer is the best vehicle for achieving significant improvement in these three areas. Soccer demands that kids develop the ability to move both their body and a ball with their feet. This skill is not something that is easy and takes a supreme amount of eye-foot coordination.
Eye-foot coordination, as a skill, increases peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is necessary in all sports thus working to develop this essential ability is beneficial to everyone. Soccer fits this bill perfectly as eye-foot coordination will make larger improvements in the area of peripheral vision. These well known athletes spent portions of their youth, training soccer: Steve Nash NBA, Tim Duncan NBA, Patrick Ewing NBA, Christian Okoye NFL, Morten Anderson NFL, and Bjorn Borg Tennis star.
Soccer also has a unique ability to improve foot dexterity, as most traditional sports do not. The increase in foot dexterity will help children move along in time to their preferred sport. Additionally, all kids as young as two have the ability to kick and ball and find it particularly enjoyable. As you look at options for enrichment programs to be offered to kids, a soccer based program undoubtedly is one that should be offered alongside the other enrichment programs.
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