In a 2017 Gallup Poll, 7 percent of Americans named soccer as their favorite sport! That’s the highest level of popularity for the sport in the U.S. – ever. The popularity of soccer is expected to continue its upward path, in large part because the first generations of soccer players in the U.S. are now introducing the sport to their kids!
In fact, more than 3 million kids participate in youth soccer across the U.S. That’s more than double the number who participate in youth football.
Are your kids ready to play?
If they can walk and run – they are! In fact, kids as young as 3 can begin to learn the fundamentals of soccer, while having fun and making friends.
And now’s the time to sign them up for fall soccer at the Ashland Area YMCA. Leagues for kids from age 3 to 12 are forming now, with registration through Aug. 12. Parents will be contacted after Aug. 25 by the coaches with practice sites and times. Cost is $30 for members $50 for non-members and includes six regular season games.
This year, the Y is also offering the YMCA/Eastern Elite Soccer Academy as an enhancement to the fall league. Players who enroll in the academy will participate in the six regular season games and 10 additional training sessions. The sessions are designed to increase player confidence, tactical skills and techniques. Cost for the EESA option is $100 for members; $120 for non-members.
Competitive play will begin in September at the YMCA field.
Soccer is open to boys and girls alike. The league is divided by age groupings: under 4; under 6; under 8; under 10; and under 12. The YMCA provides a T-shirt for all players; parents must provide required shin guards and soccer cleats.
Younger players will learn soccer fundamentals while those who have soccer experience will work on skill development, stamina and endurance.
Why play soccer
Soccer is one of the most popular sports played worldwide. When compared to all other sports, it is relatively inexpensive to play, requiring nothing more than a ball, shoes and shin guards. It is accessible to people from all walks of life.
Soccer players discover new friends, learn sportsmanship and the value of working hard to perfect skills. Although soccer is a team sport, it is also an individual sport, in which the effort and skills of individual players can be recognized and celebrated.
Other benefits of soccer include:
• The sport is relatively easy to learn and play. Players (and parents) don’t become frustrated with rules that don’t make sense.
• Players learn how to push through adversity.
• They learn how to give, and receive, motivation.
• They learn good sportsmanship.
• They learn good time management.
• As they progress from a basic understanding of soccer to advanced play, kids learn about strategy and tactics. They learn to see “the big picture” and their role in it.
• YMCA youth soccer give kids a chance to make friends with people from different neighborhoods, schools and communities.
• Coaches and referees provide positive role models and encouragement.
• It gets kids away from TVs, tablets and computers and into the outdoors.
• Soccer gives kids and parents something to share together, strengthening family ties
For more information about the fall soccer leagues at the Ashland Area YMCA, stop by the membership desk. Or give the Y a call at (606) 324-6191. Volunteers to help as referees, coaches and assistant coaches are also needed. Visit the Y online at AshlandAreaYMCA.org for more information or to download the registration form.