Playing Football is a rite of passage for young boys and increasingly girls as well.
As a child I entered various 5 and 7-a-side tournaments. They helped my social development, they kept me active and they taught me an acceptable way to behave and treat others. Now father of two young boys they are also getting the same benefits as I have had.
If your child is struggling to make friends at their school, youth football tournaments on a local level may help them get to know children at their school, although schools do often run inter-form and inter-school tournaments, most teams are separate from the school. Playing for a local team will also help them make friends outside of their own school and because they are often run by parents they are a great way to see how your child integrates with other children and allows you to meet their friends.
You also don’t have to stick to your own area. Youth football tournaments are often run on a national level and even a continental level, allowing many opportunities for travel and new experiences for kids. If you can organise, or take your child to a club that offers the possibility for foreign travel it will really benefit their personal development, as well as allowing for an even stronger bonding experience between the kids as they travel together.
Taking your child to a good club is the key, if you can’t find one then start your own. There’s absolutely no reason why you and your child can’t organise a 5-a-side football team made up of their friends to go and play at the nearest venue. Indoor and Outdoor 5-a-side football is very cheap to enter a league and play weekly and if finances are a problem you may be able to agree with the other boy’s or girl’s parents a system of collecting subs to pay for league membership, football kits and travel. It really should not leave you out of pocket.
And if you have a tight-knit group of players they will also want to take part in other activities together, the possibilities are endless and with all these activities together the children will often form friendships that last a lifetime. Even now I’m in my thirties I still have a handful of friends I took part in tournaments with. I am hoping that my boys will have the same experiences I had and it will help them in later life.
Children should not spend all day indoors on their video games console. Youth football tournaments get them out and about and doing something positive by playing football, making friends and keeping active. You owe it to them and they will thank you for entering them in a team when they grow up.
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