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#125167 08/09/09 10:40 PM
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My daughter is 8 and is interested in playing soccer. She has no playing experience and has developed a love for the game. She will be playing in a rec league for the first time. What are some things that I can do to keep up the enthusiasm as well as drills that I can do to help her get better?
Thanks

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Eight years old? Keep it fun for her and get as many touches on the ball as possible and let her enjoy the game..If she enjoys it..she will keep playing it..

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world cup
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Make sure she has mastered the art of dribbling through the cones. Insides of both feet, outsides of both feet, right foot only, left foot only. She should be comfortable with the ball at her feet, it's all about developing a good first touch.

As cht says....."keep it fun."


Kids play sports because they find it fun. Eliminate the fun and soon you eliminate the kid.
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goal
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FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT! Enjoy every minute because it goes by FAST!

Second, do not over react to when she doesn't perform up to your expectations. If she was perfect, she would be playing for the world cup team already.

Third, do not worry about the wins and losses. Just make sure she develops the foot skills and knowledge of the game, and a parent yelling instructions from the side-line doesn't count as knowledge of the game. If she gains knowledge and the foot skills the wins will come automatically later when it matters the most. I have seen great players with awesome footskills but had no idea what to do with it and I have seen players with a great understanding of the game, but lack the foot skills to execute it.

And forth, wear sunscreen, especially when in Aiken!


Here I go again!
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The most important thing you can do is remember that she's 8! She's a kid and kids sorely need to have fun! I would encourage you - and her - to approach the game for the fun of it. Even as she gets older, in any sport she plays, play it for the fun of it!

Don't focus on wins & losses and don't worry about playing time. Make sure that the kids she's with become her friends if they're not her friends already. Do things away from the soccer field with her teammates that are purely fun - like team sleepovers or going to eat ice cream.

Make sure that the coach - it'll likely be a volunteer coach - coaches "positively". You want your kid playing for a coach who looks for good in all 8-year-olds - absolutely no negative comments directed towards any of them, especially on game days.

Foot skills - fundamentals - will indeed make the difference between feeling comfortable on the field and not. No 8-year-old wants to hear strategy, nor can they comprehend it - they just want to kick a ball and be with their friends. Juggling skills is a great way to get comfortable. But don't push too hard - this year, since it's her first experience, juggle with her and kick with her but always remember the mantra - "is it fun?"!!! Foot skills will come next if she decides she wants to get better.

Another fun thing is for you to be the goalkeeper and let your kid shoot on you. My kids took special pleasure in beating their Dad, especially when I complimented them in front of Mom. When they were young, I might have been a tad slow "keeping" their shots so they could enjoy success but they never noticed. I guarantee I couldn't stop either one of them now if I absolutely had to!

The vast majority of kids starting out in soccer will not wind up with a soccer scholarship - don't even start out with that expectation on your kid. Make it fun and enjoy the memories. The time goes by too quickly.

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Great advice from all! Fun, foot skills, family, friends, the four basic "F's" of good soccer. I would add one more "F", the freedom to discover the game herself. As a dad it is hard not to push them in a direction we want them to go instead of where they want to go or will naturally go. I am glad I had my wife, then later my daughter, to keep me straight! Good luck!

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Thanks to everyone for the great advice. We will have fun with this and practice footwork. She looks forward each day to our practices in the backyard, playing keep-away and passing to each other. I look forward to a fun time no matter what!

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Corner Kick
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Build her a wall, a common theme of every great player I have read about is that phase of self-training. I built one for mine and it really got him using the left foot many more times than with a partner.


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