football child

Is your child taking up football?

So what do you do if your child has just started playing the game? We've got some advice for you on what boots, bags and balls to buy.

Is your child taking up football? This fun team sport is a great way for your child to get into sport, socialise with others, and improve their motor skills.

But what about you?

If you're wondering how you can help your budding football star make the best start to their career, read on to discover all our tips.

Which kit should you get, how can you help them find the right position, and above all how should you organise yourself as a parent? Follow our guide!

Football: what equipment does your child need?

If you've passed on your love of the beautiful game to your son or daughter, you've probably already got some idea of the kit and equipment you'll need. If that's not the case or if you want a quick reminder of the basics, we explain all.

kids futsal ball
Ball and goal

Feel like you've forgotten something? Although clubs provide balls for matches and training sessions, it's unlikely that your child will be content with kicking a ball around just once or twice a week.

Kit yourself out with a ball so that they can play and practise their juggling outside (in the park, in the garden, on the beach) and maybe even get a mini goal too if you have space. There's no age limit for playing in goal!

kids shinpads
Training sessions and matches

In case you're really not a football fan yourself, let's start at the very beginning: your child will need shorts and a shirt.

Generally, clubs provide the kit for matches. For training sessions, besides a shirt and shorts, they'll need tracksuit bottoms and a long-sleeved top. Particularly if you're cold just watching your child training in winter.

 

Plus, long socks and shinpads are a must for matches and training sessions alike! Shinpads are actually compulsory for matches. And unless your child is playing beach football, you'll also need to get them suitable boots.

football-bag
Football, snacks and sports bags

Now that your child has their kit for their first outings onto the pitch, they need something to carry it all in. Choose a bag that's the right size for them, even if you risk carrying it yourself most of the time!

As well as their football kit, here's a little list of handy things you might want to keep in their bag:

     - A towel, shower gel and flip-flops for showering after matches

     - A plastic bag to separate clean clothing from muddy football kit.

     - Clean clothing so your car won't get covered in mud.

     - A snack to restore their energy levels after a physically and emotionally draining debut. For example, malt loaf, fruit juice, or chocolate milk.

Specifics and specialities

You now have a more precise idea of the equipment you'll need for your child to have the most fun playing football. But we've also got some more precise suggestions based on how they play. Let's start with their feet:

Football

If your child loves playing football in the fresh air and the great outdoors, we recommend classic football: outside and on grass. Kids generally start at the age of 6 or 7. In terms of boots, it's a choice between screw-in or moulded studs.

Five-a-side

With its smaller, indoor pitches, five-a-side can be done from the age of 3! If you want your child to get into football from a very young age, we recommend getting turf boots designed for the short synthetic grass on five-a-side pitches. Five-a-side balls are smaller and heavier than classic footballs because of the shorter pitch.

In goal
Being a goalkeeper is a whole different ball game, with promising goalies often identified from a young age. Besides needing specific kit (gloves and long, padded clothing), this position requires a different approach to matches. If your child sees themselves saving goals in the future, here is some advice".

Futsal

Futsal is done from the age of 4, and is also an indoor sport. It helps kids develop their tactical thinking from the age of about 6 or 7. The ball is designed to help with ball feel and minimise bounce. Futsal-specific shoes will offer the right kind of grip on wooden futsal pitches. For more information, click here".

kids football

Parents of sporty kids, or sporty parents?

Flexibility and mobility

When your child takes up sport, it's a chance for you to be active too. You can join in with the life of the club by getting involved in events and driving the kids to training and matches.

Of course, you'll share all these duties with the other parents and take turns depending on each person's availability and other commitments.

It's also a great chance to see how your child is progressing… And to get to know other parents who love sport.

 

Fair Play

With your child taking up sport, you need to support them while remaining sportsmanlike!

After all, it's not about winning, but about taking part. We all know that seeing your little one messing up a first touch or getting the whistle blown at them for their first foul can be emotional. But kids are there to have fun!

 

Get back into sport!

If being a supporter is too much for your nerves, take the next step! Training to become a volunteer coach or referee is a great way of supporting your child and getting back into sport yourself at the same time.

So, are the sports bags packed into the boot ready for taking the team's star player to their first away match?

Share your experience as parents of young sportspeople and don't forget to let us know if you liked this article!

 

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