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What Should a Kid Who Wants to Be a Pro Soccer Player Do?

by Sara Ipatenco

If your child is constantly dribbling a soccer ball through the house and has an amazing kick, he probably dreams of being a pro soccer player some day. Nurture that dream by encouraging him to do everything he can to increase his odds of achieving that goal. It won't necessarily land him a spot on a pro team's roster, but it will increase his chances.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Nothing is as important as practicing to improve skills and get better at something. That's what you need to remind your child while he's still young. The more he practices now, the better soccer player he'll be when he's older. Sign your child up to play soccer at his school or at a recreation center. He'll learn the basics of soccer at practice and get the opportunity to hone those skills as he competes against other teams. Practice with your child in the backyard, too. Act as his goalie and challenge him to see how many kicks he can get past you or practice dribbling the ball back and forth. According to Soccer University, repeated practice of specific soccer skills is crucial for making it to the big leagues.

Learn About Soccer

Pro soccer players are not only experts on the field, they're also experts about everything that has to do with soccer. Encourage your child to learn the history of the game and each individual rule that governs how the game is played. Find online websites or check books out from the library that your child can use to bone up on his soccer knowledge. Take your budding soccer star to pro soccer games so he can learn the ins and outs of working as a team. He might also enjoy watching videos of pro soccer players in action so he can learn to mimic the moves that make them so successful on the field.

Join Clubs and Accelerated Leagues

As your child gets older, school and recreation leagues won't challenge him any longer. Look, instead, for soccer clubs or accelerated leagues he can join. These are more intense and focused soccer teams so your child will continue learning soccer plays and moves while also improving significantly through practices, games and competitions. Many clubs and leagues provide children with an advanced soccer education, too, which means they'll be required to know and recite soccer history, rules and other pertinent details about the game.

Extras

Your child will need to stand out against thousands of other children who have dreams of going pro when they grow up. To that end, encourage your child to go above and beyond to be exceptional, the Soccer University website recommends. Martin Bidzinski, author of "Soccer Training: Developing the 360 Player," notes that anyone can haphazardly kick at a soccer ball and sometimes score a goal, but it takes a truly exceptional player to understand the ins and outs of the game well enough to play properly. Encourage your child to arrive at practice early and stay late to practice new skills. Teach him to take criticism from his coach and it use it to become a better player. Show him what team spirit really means and remind him to build his teammates up and to refrain from being a poor sport. Your child should also eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of exercise off the field so his body is strong and healthy enough to play the game well.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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