Wednesday 4 March 2015

Football gives children the run around

Children have boundless energy and, as parents, we are constantly finding new ways to wear them out
Oh my gosh, this is so my life right now. Aaron took me (yep!) to the park after school Wednesday Thursday and Friday last week. As the blue skies are continuing so too are the after school park sessions this week. In fact last night we got home at 18:15 after school pickup at 15:15..... my fingers were numb with the cold by then. We did playground, farm, BMX track, playground again and finally home! In just last night's session at the park I took 58 photos...! I love the one above of him trying to look like the scarescrow at the farm.

In the above pic you see how far away the fireman pole is. But I taught him last night how to stand (instead of sit) so as to take a leap of faith and reach it. Instant progress. He's been able to do it for years, but this one was particularly far to reach.

We gave up Friday after-school football for Winter, but I am realising that my energetic 4 year old needs it back in his life. We only stopped as we used to cycle there and back after already cycling home. It got too cold and too dark, but I feel we need it back in our lives!

This was us back in September:
Once they’ve outgrown a toddle around the playground, it’s time to start thinking about organised activities that will leave them ready for bed.

To think, once upon a time, we'd only have to go swimming for 40 minutes for him to need an afternoon nap. Those days are long gone. He literally has a limitless supply of energy.

Football is the natural choice. It’s not the most popular sport in the world for nothing! It’s exciting, challenging and skillful and there’s a level of play for every age group and ability.

Hundreds of millions of people all over the world are devoted to a sport that has long been known as 'The Beautiful Game'. Some turn out every week in all weathers to support their club while others prefer to watch the action on telly, assessing the odds to predict the first goal scorer or the winning team in each match.

But there’s nothing like taking part. Every week around 5 million people lace up their boots to play at schools or colleges, community centres and playgrounds.

Most die hard footie fans caught the bug as children and with so many local clubs and schemes attracting young people to the sport, there’s no danger that its popularity will wane anytime soon.

Children as young as three can take part in toddler and pre-school football sessions. These are usually run by your local club and give wee ones the chance to develop strength and co-ordination in their little legs.

Kids who are just starting school can join after-school skill sessions, where the focus is on fun rather than technical ability. But if they are beginning to show an aptitude or interest in playing properly, consider joining a Saturday session where activities are more structured.
The Friday sessions we went to last year were all about fun. It's the only after school activity Aaron's done so far and we signed up as soon as he started school. Twenty pounds for 4 classes of an hour each.

It took 2-3 sessions before Aaron understood that one team plays the other, and that a team shares/passes the ball to each other. I took for granted he'd know this, but no. The first session began with them doing a lot of ball skills with a ball each, so it was a big shock to the system to then put on a bib and go into teams, but he got it. I think 2015 maybe is the year where we can pursue this with more proper football. Maybe I'll even get him football shorts and shoes as he just has the green top currently.
Older children might get picked for the school team or start to progress through their local club's training system. If your budding soccer star is good enough, they could even be offered a place at a centre of excellence or football academy.

Football is a brilliant training ground for team play, discipline and confidence-building. Oh my gosh, discipline!!! Their Coach is SO good at getting them to do as he says. I was in awe the first time I went to Football. But he drives all the way from Birmingham to take our class, because he said there, the kids don't listen, I guess because they're used to the accent etc... but for our lot. Boom! He shouts an instruction and they're off like lightning. Considering the terrible threes, the threenager years, were SO recent, seeing this "stand to attention" and do as coach says, behaviour, really tickled me. So I actually used to enjoy sitting on the sides watching. We really MUST start going again!

All of this good stuff about football of course applies to girls too. In fact my Niece is in her school team.

And the rise of the England Women’s Football Team is offering up some great female role models for girls keen on the sport.

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