For 30 years or more, we’ve heard that soccer is coming to the United States.
Well, it seems, soccer has finally arrived. More than 3 million kids across the U.S. participate in youth soccer, more than double the number of youths participating in football. The parents of children playing soccer now were among the first Americans to take it up as kids.
They are the ones who are growing the future of soccer in the U.S.
Is it time for your kids to play soccer?
The Ashland Area YMCA fall soccer league is forming now! Registrations are being accepted through Aug. 13 at the Y, located at 3232 Old 13th St. in Ashland. Cost is $30 for members $50 for non-members. Teams will be formed and players notified beginning Aug. 25. Competitive play will begin Sept. 9 with games in Central Park.
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.
Because there is such diversity in the sport, kids who play soccer learn about other peoples and cultures, from England to Spain, Germany to France, Venezuela to Yugoslavia. In fact, soccer is played in more than 200 countries worldwide.
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. Soccer is a great choice for kids who are easily bored or who have excess energy to burn because players are constantly moving up and down the field. It’s also great for cardiovascular health and muscle and bone development.
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 makefriends 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. You can also visit the Y online at AshlandAreaYMCA.org, where you can download a copy of the registration form.