It’s an exciting time when your child gets to the age where they’re ready to start participating in a team sport. Your child’s enthusiasm will be infectious but it can also be a little daunting for parents, especially if your child chooses a sport that you are not familiar with.
Of course, as parents we want our kids to be fully prepared and ready with all the equipment they need for their first big match. Fortunately, it will relieve the minds and hip pockets of many parents to know that soccer is a sport that doesn’t require a lot of equipment to get started.
Here we have outlined the equipment that your child will need to play soccer.
Soccer boots will be one of the most important things you purchase for your child when they start playing soccer. Soccer boots are also known as ‘Cleats’, which refers to the name of the stoppers on the bottom of the shoes.
Your child will require a certain type of shoe depending on the type of surface they will be playing on. For hard surfaces, longer, wedge-shaped boots are ideal and for softer surfaces shorter cleats are best. If your child will be playing on both surface types throughout the season, you can purchase soccer boots that come with removable cleats so they can be swapped over when needed.
It is important to ensure that your child has a pair of soccer boots that fit properly and provide adequate support before playing to avoid blisters and injuries. Shoes that have been handed down too many times may become unstable and no longer capable of providing the support a young player needs.
Remember that kids grow out of shoes fast, so check their soccer boots regularly to see when it’s time to have them replaced.
Getting their soccer shirt or jersey as it is also called, will be a highlight for any budding soccer player. A soccer shirt identifies which team a player is on and provides a sense of unity within the team. Soccer shirts can be long or short sleeved depending on the weather and team preference, and the cost of the shirt is usually covered in the registration fee.
Soccer shorts are different from regular shorts as they are made of specific material that is soft yet durable. Soccer shorts enable players to stretch their legs during play without easily tearing apart. They also help players to stay cool during a game. The colour and design of the shorts are generally specific to your club and are sometimes provided by your club or may have to be purchased separately.
Soccer socks are thicker and longer than normal socks to help protect your child’s feet from blisters and to help to keep shin guards in place. As with soccer shorts you will need to confirm with your club if these are provided with registration or will need to be purchased separately.
During a game of soccer, your child’s shins will be one of the most vulnerable parts of their body due to the high possibility of contact during heavy tackles. Wearing shin pads is absolutely essential for children of all ages and abilities while playing soccer, in order to protect their shins from possible cuts and injuries.
Shin pads are worn under socks and come in two varieties.The first slips over the foot like a sock and the second straps around the back of the calf with velcro. It’s important to make sure the shin guards you purchase are the correct size and thickness for your child so that they provide proper protection and that they fit securely into their soccer socks.
A water bottle is another essential piece of equipment that every child will need if they want to play soccer. Experts advise that kid’s drink fluids, preferably water, before, during and after every game and during training, to avoid dehydration or heat stroke. This is just as important in cold weather as it is in hotter climates.
Although, your child will not be required to bring their own soccer ball to a game or to training, it is important for your child to have their own ball at home to practise and improve their soccer skills.
Soccer balls can vary in both cost and quality, however if your child is serious about playing soccer and plans on playing often, then it is worth investing in a medium to high quality ball. Purchasing a good quality ball will be more cost effective over the long term as cheaper balls suffer from wear and tear a lot quicker.
Soccer Balls come in different sizes depending on the age of the child. Be sure to get the right size ball for your child and check that it is the same size that they are using for games and at training.
Soccer is a fantastic team sport for both boys and girls of all ages and as you can see from this article, getting your child involved in soccer is very simple as doesn’t require you to purchase a lot of equipment to get them started.