Soccer skills for pre teen

My not-very-athletic sixth grader has missed the soccer boat and is yearning to get on. He is not very good and feels embarrassed at school because he can't play and kids either laugh at him or won't invite him to play. He doesn't want to join a team as he feels like most kids his age have mastered the basics. Is there a friendly, supportive environment in which he can build his skills without being thrown into a competitive environment?

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RE: Soccer skills for pre teen ()

UC Village has youth beginning soccer classes for kids up to 11 years old. So as a 6th grader, he'll need to be OK with being the oldest kid there. All local soccer clubs have recreational teams that are less competitive but they nevertheless still play against other local teams -- and teams have already been formed for the fall season with practices and games in full swing. An alternative may be for him to look up some "youth beginning soccer skills" videos on Youtube. There are loads from the very basics to more advanced footwork and tips. All he'll need is a soccer ball and he can start working on his basic footwork and shooting skills. Watching actual soccer matches (on TV or online) and playing Fifa video games can also teach him a lot about the soccer and help him (and you) assess whether he's up to joining a rec team in the spring.

Good luck!

RE: Soccer skills for pre teen ()

Hi there! I have a 7th grader, and he used to play soccer for about 4 years. He was never super good at it, never really enjoyed it that much, but mostly did it because friends from his school did it and that made it fun. When he started middle school last year, the soccer became super competitive. That is just not him. So a friend asked him to try running track with him. It has changed his life! I realize that maybe not all kids would take to it like he did, but there are about 100 kids in his school that run, and they all find something in it that they like, all sizes, heights, body types. You can be competitive, or not. But basically you get to run around all afternoon with your friends, and the boys joke around and wrestle a lot, too. I think that some of the smaller schools may have tryouts and limit the amount of kids to just the most serious athletes. This is a shame! Shouldn't we be encouraging all kids who want to get off their screens and run around to develop something that can turn into a lifelong fitness habit?? Even if a school has a tryout cross-country/track program, there are local teams that he could join (my son is part of the Raptors as well as being on his middle school team.) As a parent, I love it because it is pretty simple to get started, you need some good shoes and you just start running. And a good coach will encourage each kid to improve from their own starting point; not to strive to be number one, but to challenge themselves to shave a few seconds off of their own personal record. You are part of a team, and yet it is still very individual. It is great for kids who are just not into the aggressive turn that soccer takes at their ages. Best to you guys!

RE: Soccer skills for pre teen ()

What about finding a local high schooler who plays soccer to kick the ball around with your child and provide tips and tricks?