I didn't think much when I signed up Alexander with a local soccer association when he was four and half. It is a good sport at first place. And it is fun. I am not really a big big soccer fan. And I think most parents are like me. I watch world cup every 4 years and that's mostly it. However, after my kids started playing soccer, I became a big fan of them.
The soccer they play with the soccer association is called recreational soccer. The coaches are volunteering dad. The kids are put into teams. They play very small field. Four players on each side with no goalies. They normally have one practice and one game per week. It is fun activity for the kids.
There are kids that are very into it. They just want the ball and score goals while most other kids just stand watching. Alexander was the one that always stay behind. He either follow other kids and run after them, either he just play silly in the field. My husband had to work every Saturday those days and couldn't come to Alexander's games. By the time my husband was able to come one Saturday to watch Alexander's game, he was shocked. He couldn't believe his son play soccer like that. My husband didn't play much soccer himself. But he grew up in South America, so he knows soccer. From then on, my husband jumped in and picked up his soccer dad's duty.
One thing we realized from kids playing recretional soccer or competitive soccer is, the coach is for the team. Kids need help from other place to learn soccer and develop individual skills. At early age, the person responsible for training the kids individually is the dad. My husband saw that Alexander didn't have the basic skills of kicking the ball, stopping the ball or running with the ball, so he started from the very basic.
One really good thing that my husband trained both kids is to let them to use both of their feet. The kids practiced a lot on that. Kicking the ball using right foot only and then using left foot only. Now we can see the benefits. It doesn't matter which direction the ball comes, they can use either foot to kick it. And when they are in front of the goal, they don't have to shift foot and lose that precious half second but score goal with either foot.