'Football For All' since 2010


Why do children at a young age take up and play football?

Posted by CAFS on June 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Hi all and welcome to my second blog. Hope you all enjoyed the first one exploring the idea of natural talent vs the inner desire to be the best. This month i wanted to look a bit further into why it is that children take up football and what influences them at a young age.


Children become interested in sport and start to play football for a number of reasons, but i have found the most predominant factor is the influence of adults. This is particularly true for younger children, between the ages of 5 and 10 years.


- Children will take up football if their parents or other adult have encouraged them to do so.

- Junior school age children are also affected by peer pressure and may be interested in playing football if their friends currently do and enjoy the sport..

- Television plays a big role in out children's lives and they may want to emulate the stars they see in the Premier League.

- There may be a club close by and the child is motivated what they have to offer.

- They may be interested in the lure of receiving trophies and medals for winning football matches and competitions.


Adults encourage children to play football also for a number of different reasons. They may have played football themselves and want to pass on their experience to the child or they may also have a need to fill a gap in their own footballing career and see the child as a way of making for their own failures. Parents also understand both the physical and emotional benefits children gain from playing a team sport.


Here at Inclusion we encourage children to participate in football, by running our daily school clubs and our popular soccer camps. The domino effect soon takes place and when one child signs up to play many others follow.


Sibling pressure is also an important factor. If one child is already a footballer there is more likelihood their sibling will also take up the sport.


Young players however rarely take up football because of the health benefits of physical exercise. Their parents will understand the benefit gained by physical exercise, the child will not have a concept of the health factors associated with exercise, and because of this the benefit will not be an influencing factor in their decision making process.


Once the child has joined a club and started to train and play football, they start to enjoy everything that football has to offer, including being part of a team, having fun playing, the competition of the matches and the friendships they will inevitably develop.


I personally feel that the media and television have the biggest part to play. The professionals, that we see on almost a daily basis playing the sport at the highest level, are the biggest influence on young players just starting to enjoy and learn the game. Every session we go to we see children with players names on their shirts, from Messi to Nani to Toure. Hopefully this continues and on Saturday July 16th we see loads of Messi's, Nani's, (not so much) Rooneys, Owen's, Gerrards, Drogba's and maybe even 1 or two Di Canio's thrown in there, at our Family Football Festival on The Green in Devizes. Just turn up and enjoy all the activities and show the whole town why you or your child are the next big thing and love the game we all do so much.


Thanks again guys, feel free to leave your comments below and i will see you all again next month for our Summer update!!!!


Steve H

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