Helping your child learn and grow as a soccer player is difficult. The difficulty is only magnified when it’s cold outside and you can’t just go outside and kick the ball around.
The easy choice when fall soccer is over and the weather gets colder is to just hang up your soccer boots and wait until spring soccer starts in a few months. But there is arguably no more valuable time for your child to develop as a player than the time between seasons.
So how do you help your child grow when it’s cold outside and hard to practice? In this post, I’ll share with you how my daughter is getting touches on the ball for less than $20.
So how do you use the time between seasons to help your child develop as a player?
There are several different ways — some easier than others.
Depending on where you live, there may be opportunities for indoor soccer or futsal. These are very good options, but do come with the cost of playing in a league and the time commitment as well.
Your child can also find an indoor gym or soccer complex to go to in order to continue getting touches on the ball…but if you aren’t in a big city, it may be hard to find such a place.
Of course, you could also always just go outside and kick a ball around…but that gets more and more difficult as the weather gets colder (depending how far north you are, it might even require dealing with snow!).
So what have I done with my daughter to help her get touches on the ball?
It’s actually quite simple…and it cost me less than $20.
We play soccer with a mini soccer ball (size 1 to be exact) inside the house.
Every day for the past week part of our before school ritual has been to play soccer with this mini soccer ball in our living room, down the hall, and through the kitchen and dining room.
I LOVE hearing Brooklynn ask me “Dad can we play soccer before I go to school?”.
I haven’t actually sat down and counted the touches, but I have no doubt that my daughter is getting several hundred touches a day on the ball just from this time we spend playing.
And what’s better, the smaller ball and fast playing surface (short carpet and hardwood floors) helps her learn ball control.
So how do we do it?
For us, whoever has the ball has to dribble down the hall, through the kitchen and dining room and back into the living room before shooting on goal (the base of the couch). So whoever has the ball learns to dribble around corners, on fast surfaces and then has to beat a defender.
The defender, has to learn positioning, how to get around a player to get to the ball in tight spaces and then how to block the ball (which is more difficult, since it’s pretty small).
It’s a blast and we end up laughing…a lot.
It can also get pretty physical, which is good because my daughter is learning how to deal with shoulder to shoulder challenges for the ball and how to get around a defender!
And I’m sure you’re wondering, yes we have gotten in trouble a few times for errant shots that have hit a picture, or my wife…but for the most part, no people, decorations or furnishings have been harmed in the execution of “house ball”.
The best part…the ball I bought cost less than $20.
Even when we aren’t playing, I make sure that the ball is always out and visible in the living room. Throughout the day my daughter will take the ball and dribble just for a minute or two.
It’s not a lot, but it’s more than she’d get otherwise — and probably more than most of her teammates are getting!
Best of all, she is getting better and she LOVES practicing.
So if you’re wondering how to help your child continue to develop through the winter, go order your mini soccer ball today! Your kids will love it, and you’ll have a blast playing with them!
Question: How are you helping your child develop over the winter?