When it comes to playing soccer whether recreationally or otherwise, selection of the right ball for your child is a fundamental component of the quality of the experience to be had, and therefore should not be overlooked. In the same way in which particular care and attention is given to acquiring the right shoes and other essentials necessary for play, choosing the ideal soccer ball for your child’s age is no different. A soccer ball that is too large would be impossible or difficult to kick, thereby defeating the essence of the game. On the other hand, one that is too small would not provide a necessary level of performance and fun. Knowing how to choose the right soccer ball is a great skill for parents to have when their wards start playing.
How to Choose
There are several methods for choosing an appropriate soccer ball. Because soccer can be played in various forms – indoors, outdoors – you choice would depend on the intended use. Also, the playing surface – whether grassy, muddy or paved – will be a primary consideration. In all these, the driving factor is the child’s ability to kick the ball around with ease. There is no point having a soccer ball that soaks in too much water in a muddy environment or one that bounces too frequently on a paved surface. Essentially, the choice of a soccer ball must take account of the environment in which it will be used.
Different age groups have their appropriate soccer balls. For a child in a team or league, the coaches or league regulations would have the exact information on the size required for his age group. A fine approximation of matching sizes and ages is as follows:
- size 3: under 8 year olds
- size 4: 8-12 year old players
- size 5: 13 year olds and above
The size of the ball matters because playing with a soccer ball that is either too large or small affects how much one learns and improves as a player. A child playing with a soccer ball above their age may not adequately perform the shooting and dribbling skills required at that stage of development. Hence, it is necessary to ensure the size used in team sessions is also used for private practices. Should a child find it challenging to use the size appropriate for their age, the right approach is not to lower the standard but to guide them through little steps to become familiar and comfortable.
Nothing is more important for playing soccer than having the soccer ball. Yet, the one your child needs may not be cheap to purchase. In that case, a parent may consider various options in determining whether to commit a large sum to buying a soccer ball.
There are four types of soccer balls available:
- Recreational balls
- Camp balls
- Training balls
- Game balls
For a child just kicking about leisurely without being a member of a team or intending to join one, there will hardly be an incentive to spend a lot. A recreational ball could be a good place to start, although it should be noted that it lasts only a short period and is not the right weight for soccer. You should be able to get a recreational ball at retail price of between $12 and $15. Camp balls, on the other hand, are more suitable. They cost within the range of $20 and $25. Training balls are around $30 to $35 and are considered ideal for a child who is playing as part of a team. The quality of the training ball comes close to those used on game days, hence, providing the child with the appropriate level of challenge necessary. The game balls used in professional soccer are quite expensive and are not advised for children who basically want to train and improve their soccer skills.
Training for Specific Skills
Whether for recreation but especially when in a team, a child’s need for a soccer ball could be to help them master certain skills in the game. A child may want to improve their ability to run with a ball, shoot better, handle 1-on-1 situations effectively or to master the art of controlling a descending ball. Here, the technical details of soccer balls become important, especially the number of panels. Soccer balls with lower number of panels are generally faster while those with higher panels are easier to control.
For a child training to be a goalkeeper or a striker practicing shooting, the ball should not be too hard. But soft balls would be easily manipulated by the wind too. A good balance would have to be struck to provide the child with attainable challenges. The right ball for a child’s age would usually be good enough to enable him acquire these skills.
Where to Purchase Soccer Balls
The two main options for purchasing your child’s soccer ball are in store or online. The advantage of buying one in a store is that you have the opportunity to physically handle the ball and get a feel of the material before making your choice. The downside to this method however is the availability may be limited and the selections quite pricey. Buying online, on the other hand, offers you access to a wider selection and more varied pricing points. Notwithstanding, we highly recommend that you check out the soccer shop at Elite PK for your quality camp and training balls. Feel free to click on the following link to view our available offerings: https://elitesoccerpk.com/shop/
In summary, soccer balls are of different qualities and made for different purposes. It is useful to enquire from coaches on the right one to buy for a child, ensuring that what the child does in private will correspond with the team’s direction. When in doubt, ask for the specific brand name, size and weight. Better to be precise than to splurge on an unsuitable choice.
How to Choose a Soccer Ball https://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Soccer-Ball
What Size is a Youth Soccer Ball? https://www.soccer-for-kids.com/what-size-is-a-youth-soccer-ball.html
The Size of a Kid’s Soccer Ball https://www.kidsprosoccer.com/the-size-of-a-kids-soccer-ball
Using Smaller Balls to Develop Better Control https://www.perfectsoccerskills.com/blogs/news/114817603-using-smaller-balls-to-develop-better-control