Football is a game that has gained international recognition and has socially been accepted by all people from various backgrounds (Pehkonen & Ikonen, 2016). Children and adults of all gender have ventured into professional football while others just play for fun at their local levels. For one to be a professional footballer, he or she has to start it at an early age such that they can gain the required skills and knowledge of play as well as the tactics that are considered the basics of playing Professional football. Due to this reason, it is therefore essential for parents to allow their children to play football at the youth and eventually at the high school level as it’s at this stage that a child is capable of realizing his or her potential.
Playing football is associated with a lot of benefits that come along with the training (Andersen et al. 2014). A child who plays football is capable of making it stronger and healthier than that individual who does not engage in any sporting activities. Health is the ultimate benefit that is derived from football playing while others are just as a result of the sporting activity. The numerous benefits that arise from playing football include:
Increased aerobic capacity – Football is a sporting activity that requires an individual to run intensively for a certain period. Running for the whole duration of the 90 minutes requires higher levels of stamina. The stamina is only available if the player is capable of holding in the air during running and therefore reduce the panicking that results from low levels of oxygen in the body. The children playing football often have a tremendous amount of aerobic capacity and therefore are capable of going from walking, running and sprinting with the ability to recover very fast and tolerate with the reduced amount of air in their bodies and thus making them able to run again repeatedly without much panting.
Improvement in the cardiovascular health – Exercise and increased physical activity is an essential component in the maintenance of a healthy body. The average player is capable of running 4 to 6 miles during the 90 minutes in a full game. The running is characterized by constant walking, jogging as well as running that helps in keeping the child’s heart rates up and thus providing excellent cardiovascular exercise (Sharma, 2015). The child can strengthen his or her heart through the constant movements. Also, the movements can resist the buildup of plaques in the coronary arteries and helps in burning the excess calories from their body and eventually lead to reduced blood pressure.
Reduces body fat and help in improving the muscle tone – football is among the best athletic sports that aid in the burning of the body fats as it keeps the muscles and heart working and therefore making them active. In children, football helps in building masses of muscles and burning excess fats by the recruitment of both the slow twitch and the fast twitch muscle fibers in the body. In general, the football workout helps in burning more calories than any other typical exercises as the players are forced to keep switching between using both the aerobic and anaerobic pathways making the child have endurance.
Football helps in building muscle strength – The lower body strength is essential for kicking, tackling, jumping, turning as well as twisting and forms the overall foundation for explosive speed that is needed to maintain the pace in the time of play. The upper body strength is required for shielding of the ball, throw-ins, holding off opponents and contribute to the overall power and explosiveness of the child. Continuous regular soccer play helps in building strength by incorporating the whole body in performing the activities.
Increased bone strength – Heavy bone density is an essential component in football to avoid frequent fractures. The bone density reduces with increase in age and therefore the best time to play football is during the youthful days when one is stronger in the general body. The repeated weight-bearing loads on the body during football matches are the best ways of increasing the strength of the skeletal frame thereby improving the bone density. Continued maintenance of fitness throughout the soccer career in the lifetime is the greatest way of keeping the bones strong. Starting playing during the youthful age will be more beneficial to the child than starting at a later age when the bone density has reduced.
Football game enhances coordination- The shifts that arise from walking, sprinting and running are the key coordination concepts in soccer. The body coordination is enhanced through the complex moments such as dribbling, passing and turning which calls to be performed at various speed and direction and therefore necessitate for better coordination not to lose the ball to the opponents (Bate, 2014). The hand to eye coordination is improved through kicking and passing the ball to someone. The more coordinated the players are, the better the advantage in a match. The coordination obtained in playing soccer is also essential for the other activities for the child especially in class activities as the child is capable of getting organized and be on time.
Playing football enhances teamwork and sharing- Playing soccer can be termed as a personal objective to maintain a better health status by an individual. On the other hand, soccer is a game that requires the efforts of a minimum of 11 players with substitutes. An individual cannot play alone on the whole field, and this calls for sharing and teamwork. Winning a match is as a result of sharing a common goal with the other players, and therefore all come together to push towards the achievement of the goal. The lessons learned from the field of teamwork are carried forth and translated to the rest the players’ lives as comrades. The ability to work as teamwork towards the achievement of a common target is more powerful especially when related to the everyday life. Children are thus encouraged to work in groups in their classes to achieve the overall best results from their academic life.
Increase in cognitive brain functions- Football playing aids in the increased skills of concentration, self-discipline, and persistence as it is a fast-paced game calls for quick decision making in the field that will not cost the team (Huckabee, 2016). Even in the situations where the tempo appears to slow down, the players tend to be looking for the territorial advantages by trying to position themselves in the strategic positions to receive a pass or mark an area to defend in case the opponent may attack. The decision making in soccer can be translated to the class activities that a child performance and an improvement are noted regarding decision making which is rational and accurate.
Soccer playing increases the level of confidence and self-esteem and therefore helps in reducing anxiety in a child (Graydon, 2016). The building of physical strength and endurance assist in building the confidence in a player during the time on and off the field especially if there is a series of continued winnings. The confidence and self-esteem are not only expected to have an impact on the sports performance alone but also the academic performance in school, family life, career and the general friendships. As a result of exercise, the endorphins level is increased in the body after a match to which are known to reduce stress and anxiety and therefore can be a way to treat and reduce the intensity of stress and depression.
Football is a complete game where anyone can play anywhere. Soccer is not a prohibited sporting activity, and it is not expensive. It only requires space as the football pitch and a soccer ball which are relatively available in all schools and public grounds. Football is also one of the simplest sports an individual can pic onto and is played outdoors and helps in increasing interactions among children thus socialization is enhanced (Finkelstein, Baghurst & Shavers, 2015).
Soccer playing for children is thus an essential aspect of their lives. In the achievement an overall health being of a child, exercise is a recommendation, and thus it’s important that all children get allowed to take part in any sporting activities. Increased muscles and bone strength are among the physical results that arise from playing football. Coordination and improved cognition ability, as well as teamwork, are a major measure of excellence in a child’s academics to which can be foster by playing soccer. Quick decision making and immediate solving problems such as puzzles are all influenced by playing soccer. The general body fitness and the increased self-esteem are more significant to improving the self-esteem of the child. The parents should allow their children to take part in playing football in their youthful age to maximize the benefits accruing from playing soccer. It is through this that both the children and the parents will realize the full potential of their child and nature their talents from a small age and progress to being a professional soccer player.
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