A youth soccer league offers a ton of benefits to your kids, beyond just being an outlet for their excess energy. Here are four benefits that a youth soccer league can offer your children.

1. Activity

Staying active and fit is essential to developing a healthy lifestyle for your child. For starters, registering your child in a youth soccer league keeps them active in an organized, supervised environment.

There are many studies that illustrate the benefits of team sports for kids. A 2010 study concludes that, “Soccer is a very popular team sport that contains positive motivational and social factors that may facilitate compliance and contribute to [maintaining] a physically active lifestyle.” Getting your kids involved in a youth soccer league isn’t just good for their health now, it develops good fitness habits that stick with them when they grow up.

2. Enjoyment

While most youth soccer leagues keep score, not all do, and most introductory leagues are simply geared towards having fun and learning the game. Because the goal is to introduce the game to kids and develop their skills, it gives them an opportunity to learn the game in a relatively neutral environment.

Make sure to find a youth soccer league with quality coaches that really care about the kids. They should show respect to you and your children while also challenging them to better themselves and their team.

3. Exercise

A youth soccer league also helps kids get the exercise that their little bodies need. US Youth Soccer, the preeminent body governing youth soccer in America, says that the sport develops several important characteristics in children. “It’s accessible to all, develops a high level of aerobic endurance and muscular ability and requires good strategic thinking.”

4. Social Skills

Developing social skills is another great benefit to your children being involved in a youth soccer league. With so many advances in technology, it’s become easier for kids to entertain themselves without interacting with other kids. That’s why it’s more important than ever to encourage social interaction, and a youth soccer league is a great way to do that.

Why Soccer?

Jamie Howe, of the New York Soccer League, talks about why she thinks a local youth soccer league is so beneficial to kids. “In my opinion it is the ability of the game to accommodate children of different abilities on one team,” says Howe. “This is extremely important in youth sports, as young kids of the same age are often at drastically different stages of development. Youth soccer is very forgiving of this fact.”

So find a local youth soccer league in your community and get plugged in! It’s bound to be a fun learning experience for your kids, and you’ll enjoy seeing them grow and learn out on the field.