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It's not always easy to help your child work on their game. Whether you’re a football fan, a former player, a sports lover in general or a complete sportsphobe, we’ve got some advice that should help you out.
It's very important your child has the right gear when they play, as it will help them avoid picking up injuries and get the maximum pleasure out of playing. Boots are the most important piece of kit. Style is important, but there's no point in buying the boots that their favourite player wears if they don't suit your child's morphology, style of play or the pitches they play on. That can easily lead to injury.
In a way, football teaches you about life. We learn to respect rules, to work as a team towards shared objectives, and to excel ourselves. Football is also a sport that brings young people together and is a great way to burn off energy. Playing sport is also a way of forging character. It's important that you get that through to your child.
It doesn't matter if they end up making a living out of football or not. What matters are all the things they can learn from it, which will stand them in good stead in adult life.
Sometimes, former players can't help but invest a bit too much time and energy in their children's favourite sporting activities. Many parents, in fact, try to impose their own desires and dreams on their budding little footballers. The line between giving them the support they need to make the most of their passion (and make a career out of it if they have the talent and the desire) and putting unbearable pressure on them is very thin.
Football should be fun, first and foremost. While there's no reason not to think big for your little footballer, playing for pleasure should still be the most important thing.
You don't have to spend every weekend watching matches from Europe's top leagues, but taking a little bit of interest in the sport your child plays will make it easier for you to give them the support they need.
There are a number of important choices to make:
- The club they play for.
- The position they play in.
- The gear they will need to play safely and well.
If you have no interest whatsoever in football, it won't be so easy for you to support your daughter or son. Even if they play the game just for fun, they'll love talking football with you at home. And it's always more fun watching games when you know what's going on.