It’s Important To Ask Yourself These Questions

At FFPS, we are often asked at what age a child should start playing youth soccer. It is a valid question and one we are eager to help answer to our best ability. You may recall the saying “it’s never too late to try something new,” but as a parent you may be worried that your child is too old to begin playing soccer. Will it be difficult as a beginner? Are they too old? Will they be angry at you, as a parent, for encouraging this now potentially?

On the other end, you could have a younger child, immediately showing signs they are interested in playing youth soccer, but you are not sure if they are “old enough” to start playing. Can my child even grasp the game of soccer? Will they not maintain interest in soccer? Should I just wait until they are older and more mature? All of these are especially important questions to reflect upon. 

It’s Not Too Early OR Too Late

So, the question remains, at what age should you register your child in youth soccer at FFPS? The response could be unique for every child. Rather than just focusing on their age alone, the main thing to consider when placing them in youth soccer is making sure they are receiving age-appropriate instruction in a positive environment that fosters a love for soccer. We offer youth soccer leagues for kids aged 4-18, but we know a 4-year-old learns completely different than a 10-year-old. A positive environment can make all the difference in the experience your child has regardless of the age they start playing youth soccer at. 

Creating a Positive Environment for Everyone!

Creating a safe place for children of all ages to enjoy youth soccer is an incredibly important aspect of our core philosophy at FFPS. We do not allow any derogatory comments or persistent yelling that would belittle, distract, or embarrass players. “We ask that if you must yell, use encouragement! Finally, we teach coaches and parents to use one of these four words before they say anything, Go…. Good…. Great…. Nice! 

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Winning and Youth Sports Today?

In their ads about the Olympics, NIKE said: “You Don’t GET Silver, You LOSE Gold!!” But let’s be honest, winning is fun. There’s much to be said for the joys of competition. Coaches, players, and parents love to see their team win, but as they say, “Winning isn’t everything.”

Players can get hurt when going for a win—and not just physically. It’s important for coaches to not view young athletes as a means to an end. They’re individuals who should be learning, growing and developing. Coaches and parents who focus only on the win are missing out on a great opportunity to make a difference in young lives.

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Unfortunately, purpose can get neglected when winning trumps character and integrity. The purpose of youth sports is not just to develop good athletes, it is to develop tomorrow’s leaders. Youth sports offer the training ground for life’s playing fields. Perspective can be clouded when the scoreboard becomes the only measurement of a team or an individual. Success should be measured by progress, achievements, met goals and character gained. Winning in youth sports isn’t everything.

At FFPS We Have No Try-Outs Or All-Star Teams.

This is why FFPS will never have try-outs or all-star teams. We are here for everyone to: Play, Be Included, Build Self Esteem, And Learn Values!!!

The game of soccer is a great for kids, even if they simply want to play at a recreational level. It is one of the best sports for developing all-round physical literacy, and it develops friendships, teamwork, and lifelong love of play.

  • In a USA Today Survey in 1990 37% of children said they wish their parents did NOT come to watch them and 41% said they woke up in the middle of the night worrying about an event.
  • According to a study done by the Minnesota Sports Commission in 1993
  • 45% say they hav been called names and yelled at and insulted while playing.
  • 18% reported they had been kicked, slapped, and hit in games
  • 22% said they were pressured to play with an injury.

Mentally/ Physically Challenged Opportunities

Jane and Dave Scholfield are coordinators for our Mentally and Physically Challenged Children and we had 13 players in FFPS this past spring and two of those were teens!!! Call the Scholfields any time at 713-578-3729 to discuss any questions.

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Texas Summers

Texas summer is in full swing and it’s an excellent time for children to get outside and enjoy youth soccer! Exercising regularly is important, especially for kids’ growing bodies, and summer sports are perfect for having fun and staying active. As Houstonians know, one major concern in summer is the brutal Texas heat.  

Temperatures can easily stay in triple digits for weeks. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can help prevent dehydration, potential heat stroke, and other major consequences of too much time in the Texas summer sun. 

Safety First at FFPS!

At FFPS, we ensure that everyone is taking precautions during the hottest months of the year.  Young children are particularly at risk in Texas summers while playing soccer. Don’t worry though: taking pragmatic steps can help protect your children so they can focus on having an exciting time playing youth soccer! 

Drink Water, Hydrate, and Drink More Water!  

Be sure to bring plenty of water so that everyone has the chance to drink water throughout the entire day. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, are great because athletes can replace electrolytes while not intaking copious amounts of sugar. It is also crucial to hydrate your children before practice or games, as well as during and after soccer activities. 

It is especially important to keep children from drinking beverages with substantial amounts of caffeine, which can lead to dehydration quickly. This means no sodas. It is important to have a healthy balanced diet during snack breaks, providing your players with essential carbs and fruits to give them energy, along with providing additional hydration is necessary for staying safe in Texas summer’s. 

Shade, a Texans Best Friend 

It is important to provide some shade whenever you can during the summer. It is truly one of the best ways to cool down in the Texas summer. Getting out of the direct sun makes a dramatic difference overall. Even on the hottest day, sitting in the shade can make a person feel like it is 10 to 15 degrees cooler outside. Soccer fields may not always have substantial amounts of shade, so consider bringing a chair with a topper or an umbrella with you! However, we do not permit large cabana style coverings at FFPS games.  

Cold towels help everyone stay cool.  

A simple lifehack for staying cool during summer is to take full advantage of cooling towels. Simply put some washcloths in a cooler, that is full of ice to keep them nice and cold. During breaks, children can put these towels on their foreheads, necks, and other places for a quick efficient cool-down. Keeping a spray bottle full of icy water for a quick spritz during breaks can also help kids keep cool in the sun.  

Remember to Put on Sunscreen and then Reapply More 

It is often forgotten, but sunscreen is vitally important for protecting your children from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It is highly recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has 50 SPF. Ideally, the sunscreen should be applied before practice or games, but also needs to be reapplied every two hours while spending time outside.  

Do Not Forget Your Own Heat Protection.

While kids are most at risk from overheating/dehydration during youth soccer activities, spectators, parents, and coaches should take preventive measures as well. Bring plenty of water for yourself, try to sit in the shade, and do not forget sunscreen and a hat of some kind! 

 

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Confidence and Cooperation in Youth Soccer

A common theme in FFPS soccer leagues across the greater Houston area is girls and boys playing on the same teams in all games, especially in the younger age groups. At FFPS, we believe coed soccer creates a greater social environment for the players when boys and girls can play soccer together. Coed soccer allows brothers and sisters, classmates, and friends to all play on the same teams. Plus, playing soccer together at a young age helps boys and girls learn the best from each other on the field.  

Unfortunately, people often assume that girls and boys want different things from playing soccer. However, they just want to play hard, have fun and make friends!

Coed Soccer Encourage Mutual Respect Between the Genders

At Fun Fair Positive Soccer, we want to dismiss the myths that girls only care about the social aspects of playing soccer and boys just want the heavy competition.  
  
After analyzing coed soccer for more than 35 years we’ve discovered many fascinating things! What often matters most for girls and boys are things like, working hard, trying your best, having fun, and getting to play on a team. At FFPS, these findings are the same for our athletes at younger and older ages, across all our soccer leagues in the greater Houston area.

Coed Soccer Diversify a Team

Traditionally, boys focus more on their individuality while girls can be more team-driven overall. At FFPS, we advocate that playing soccer together can widen an individual’s skills and help the soccer player progress overall. Additionally, there are numerous benefits from coed youth soccer leagues. Including more diversity, additional opportunities, and a superior social environment for children to grow in.

At FFPS, we value our members. At the end of the day, all we want is for our FFPS athletes to have fun, fair and positive soccer experiences while learning the importance of sportsmanship in soccer and making lifelong memories along the way!

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