By Stacy Case
For many busy parents who have young children interested in playing sports but cannot commit to certain demands of that involvement, recreational soccer is definitely something to consider. It has been the first choice for many families over the years in this heavily sports-involved community. And that non-demanding schedule is often paramount when making that determination for some participants.
Soccer is not only a sport that properly introduces the concepts of teamwork and camaraderie from the onset, but it doesn’t require that drastic time and financial commitment that some other programs may.
And for years, our community’s beautiful parks have welcomed thousands of youths to run up and down the sidelines with their parents cheering them on endlessly. It’s just one of those things that can put a smile on everyone’s face- witnessing youngsters chase after the ball with the hopes of kicking it in to then run in a semi-circle with that newfound evidence of victory!
As a common tool for members of the community to give back and volunteer to help operate their local league, it offers older and/or former players a chance to referee for either service hours or to begin their career as a referee. And regardless of player age, gender and ability, recreational soccer has been a wonderful way to bring families together on any day, especially down here where the weather is conducive to play just about every day during the traditional soccer season.
For those who are new to soccer, it is not only a sport that promotes a safe, fun physical activity that gives children a good reason to step away from the electronics for a bit, but it’s also been a medium in which children build lifelong friendships while developing a passion for one of the most common worldwide sports. Many other types of athletes all over the world use soccer to cross-train during their respective off-seasons to simply stay in good cardiac shape.
It just seems to be one of those games that captivates its athletes from a young age, and can turn into something even bigger and better, or just simply stay as a healthy way for friends to get together when time allows. As far as parent testimonial, Chris Campbell can attest to the many opportunities that can come from recreational soccer participation. In fact, he has coached his three sons, two of whom have been so involved that when they got to the proper age, took their love for the sport to earn spots on their school rosters.
“My favorite part of (rec) soccer is working with all of the kids and them learning how to play with a team,” says Chris, who has coached his children for six years thus far, from ages 8U-12u.
“The time commitment isn’t too big; usually only two practices and one game per week. There are all skill levels, so every kid will fit in.” Additionally, chances during the recreational soccer season are endless.
“Kids of all experience and talent levels get the opportunity to play together/against neighbors and friends,” adds Chris. The kids also get to try out a lot of different positions on the field.”
The aforementioned circumstances are perhaps the reason why soccer still remains one of the more popular youth recreational sports programs not only in South Florida but throughout the world.