FAQ’s Before Your Child’s First Soccer Practice: Things to Know
FAQ’s Before Your Child’s First Soccer Practice
You’ve done the hard part by picking the perfect place to sign your child up for their first soccer league. However, the date of his or her first practice is looming forward and you begin to realize you really don’t know what you got you and your child into!
Don’t panic. Being a newbie—even a soccer-mom newbie happens to the best of us. Here are some frequent questions that a new soccer parent will have before they drive their child (or multiple children) to the first soccer practice.
What kind of equipment do we need for practice and games?
Before your child’s first practice, you should stop by a sports store or shop online for shinguards, a drink, and soccer cleats. Those are the basics of what they need. Most uniforms are provided or will be later ordered in clubs or organizations. However, if you don’t know what to wear for the first day, nothing is wrong with a t-shirt, sports shorts, and long enough socks so shinguards can be inserted and covered.
Each league and club are different on what they provide or what needs to match—especially for the young kids.
Are games or practices canceled due to bad weather?
Soccer is a sport played outside. Therefore for younger children, if it rains, there is a possibility that it will cancel. However, there’s usually a strict rule in place about lightning. Therefore, check in with the team parent or coach before you head out to the field if the weather is looking bad to see if practice is still on.
When does the season start and end?
Depending on which type of league you'll play, you might have signed your child up for a fall or spring season. For specifics, check with the league or club that you signed up with. Normally at the youth level, the seasons don’t last longer than a few months from six to ten games, on average (depending how many teams there are). For older kids, the seasons can last a good chunk of the year.
Are there opportunities for me as a parent to volunteer?
Normally—absolutely! Especially when dealing with younger children, coaches always need help with volunteers. The league also might need help with organization since most of the staff are usually volunteers. Normally, you don’t even need prior soccer experience. You can help with so many different tasks—from carpooling to water duty to halftime snacks—the list goes on and on.
What team or age group should they sign up for?
Generally, the league will have an age chart that associates birthdays and ages to a certain league. For a general rule of thumb, the age group is within one year of your child’s age. So, for example, if your kid is five turning six this year, the age group will probably be under-6, and so on and so forth.
What size ball should I get?
Most teams provide balls for the team. However, if you want to get a ball for your kid at home, under-9 and younger use a size 3 ball, under-11 use a size 4 ball, and under-13 and up use a size 5 ball.
When and where are practices held?
This is an extremely important question to save to ask the coach directly.
Will we have to travel to play?
Depending on the age group, if it’s a competitive league or not, the answer to this question may vary. Make sure you know what you're signing you and your family up for before you commit to traveling every weekend.
When are the games scheduled?
Normally, games are usually played on the weekend. However, you need to ask this question directly to the league.
Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.