World Cup fever has taken over the world. Globally, it is the biggest soccer tournament, and it draws millions of viewers, making it one of the most popular sporting events.
But soccer is not just a craze for professionals — plenty of children join youth soccer leagues, summer soccer camps, and school teams to advance their skills, learn soccer moves, and improve their overall game.
Many parents start their children out in soccer summer camps to see if the sport interests them. These programs teach soccer to kids as young as five years old, and are designed to give them a basic understand of the game.
Here are a few of the skills they learn as beginners.
- Dribbling. Unlike basketball, dribbling a soccer ball does not utilize the hands. In fact, touching the ball with any part of the arm or hand is considered illegal for any player other than the goalie. Dribbling involves deftly tossing the ball between the feet, keeping it away from a defender as a player advances up the pitch.
- Passing. Passing the ball is one of the most important skills for players to learn. As they dribble the ball up and down the pitch, they must be able to find other teammates, and send them an accurate pass. The most fundamental passes use the inside of the foot to push the ball, as this gives the ball more force and direction. When a player is more experienced, he or she may be able to pass the ball using other parts of the foot.
- Positions. Each player on the field has a particular role that is crucial to the functioning of the team. Many coaches teach soccer to kids based on their skill level and ability. If a child kicks the ball hard, or dribbles the balls well, he or she may become a striker who specializes in scoring. If a player is good at taking the ball away from another player, he or she may be placed on defense. Children learn each of the positions and how these impact the game.
Beginning skills are crucial to building a solid knowledge of soccer, and must be mastered before moving on to more advanced techniques. Without these basics, becoming a high quality soccer player is nearly impossible.