You can raise your kid to be a soccer star, that’s for sure. There are numerous pro players whose kids also play pro.
To raise a soccer star, you and your child or player need to have the dedication to work harder than the rest from 4-8 years old to 18 when they turn pro.
There are signs that a player is gifted naturally, which can make becoming a pro easier, but there are also players who are needed on a team due to their hard work and never give in attitude.
Let’s take a look at how you can raise a soccer star!
Signs your kid is great at soccer
If your kid is great at soccer, they will have some of these qualities; ball control, endurance, speed, movement, strength, leadership, creativity, attitude, will to play and will to win.
If kids show good qualities in most of the following ten areas, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer.
1. Ball Control
kids with good ball control are easy to spot. The ball won’t get away from them, and they’ll keep it close to their feet.
The best soccer players are often described as having the ball glued to their feet. This means they’ve great ball control. Zinedine Zidane is a fantastic example.
When kids can keep running on the soccer field, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. Players with great endurance drive the team forward. They don’t get tired when opposing players do, giving their teammates energy.
N’Golo Kanté averaged 7.5 miles per game in the Uefa Champions League. He was MVP when Chelsea won the final.
Being fast is sign kids are great at soccer. Messi and Ronaldo reach speeds of 20 mph.
Combine that speed with fantastic ball control, and you’ve got a great soccer player. When kids are the fastest players on the field, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer.
How kids move with and without the ball. When kids move naturally with the ball, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. Natural movement with the ball will indicate good coordination, which is important to be great at soccer.
Movement without the ball is also important. Watch young kids play soccer; most of them will run towards the ball and bunch up like a herd of sheep.
When kids don’t chase the ball and move to open space, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer.
If kids are strong and it’s hard to take the ball from them, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. Think Diego Maradona, who was small but super strong on the ball. It was hard to take the ball from him.
When kids lead on the field, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. Sometimes kids are shy off the field, but that disappears when they play soccer.
If they’re vocal on the field and direct play well, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer.
If kids think fast and make a creative pass or move, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. Kids showing creativity on the soccer field means they’ve got a good mind for the game.
They understand how the game works. This is a sign they’re great at soccer.
Like anything in life, a good attitude is important in soccer. If kids have a good attitude, it’s a sign they’re great at soccer. A good attitude can be expressed in different ways. One way is a reaction to a foul.
Take Lionel Messi, for instance, who rarely gets upset with fouls. He has a good attitude and gets on with the game.
9. Will to play
When kids always want to play soccer, it’s a sign they’re great at it. Many great soccer players always wanted to play with the ball as kids.
Whether it was a full game, practicing drills, or kicking the ball against a wall. Some even slept with a ball! This type of behavior is sign kids are great at soccer.
10. Will to win
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Dedication and determination have made average kids into great soccer players.
Winning isn’t everything, but the ‘great’ always have a will to win.
A former coach said about Cristiano Ronaldo: “The word ‘defeat’ never entered his head…” Ronaldo thinks only about winning.
This type of hunger can’t be taught and if your kid is showing this sign, just guide them to the field, and they’ll do the rest.
How do you know if you’re good at soccer?
You can know you’re good at soccer if you’re a team player, your teammates pass you a lot, and your coach praises you.
Let’s look further into these questions about your quality as a player;
Do you enjoy playing soccer?
A lot of the time, we enjoy things we’re good at. It’s a sign that you’re good at soccer if you enjoy it. Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho won the best player in the world award in 2005. He did it with a smile on his face.
His former Barcelona teammate, Luis Enrique, stated: “He was one of the pioneers of enjoying [soccer].” So, enjoying soccer is a good sign you’re good at playing it.
Do you do your job on the field?
Good soccer players do the job their position requires. For instance, if you’re a;
- Goalkeeper and stop many goals, you’re good at soccer.
- Defenders who stop the other team from attacking their goal are good at soccer.
- Good midfielders, win the ball, and creating goal chances for the forwards is their job.
- Forwards who score lots of goals are good at soccer.
You’re a good soccer player if you do your job in your position.
Do your teammates pass the ball to you?
A sign that you’re good at soccer is when your teammates want to pass the ball to you. They see that you’re a good player and know giving you the ball will help the team.
Soccer is a team sport, but good players can make a difference. So, if your teammates always want to pass the ball to you, it’s a sign you’re good at soccer.
Do people tell you that you’re good at soccer?
If your coaches and teammates tell you that you’re good at soccer, it’s a definite sign that you’re good. Or it’s even better if coaches and players from opposing teams tell you that you’re good at soccer.
They won’t be saying it to give you confidence. When people tell you that you’re good at soccer, take the compliment on board. It’s a sign that you’re good at soccer.
What makes a good youth soccer player?
A good youth soccer player listens to instructions from their coach and performs them. They are determined and always looking to improve.
As well as having many of the 10 talents already listed above, good youth soccer players should be able to listen to coaches and follow their instructions. That is, they should be coachable.
- Coachable players can learn by listening to instructions and following them. Players might be good, but being coachable is essential to getting better.
Small tweaks to a player’s game can result in vast improvements. But if players don’t listen to advice and follow it, they won’t make those improvements.
Youth soccer is about learning the game. For good players to become great, they must learn.
And learning relies on the ability to listen to coaches and follow their instructions. So, a good youth soccer player is coachable.
How do I know if my child is athletically gifted for soccer?
Your child is athletically gifted if they have great coordination, speed, endurance, resilience, and learning ability.
A good way to tell if your child is athletically gifted for soccer is by comparing them to other kids who play.
- Coordination is important for any athlete. In soccer, it’s important for ball control, passing, and shooting, among other things. If your child has good coordination, it’s a good sign that they’re athletically gifted for soccer.
- Speed is a great athletic ability to have for soccer. If your child is among the fastest players on the field, they’re athletically gifted for soccer.
- Endurance is important for soccer players. Those children who never stop running are athletically gifted for soccer. If your child has good endurance, they could make a great midfield player.
- Resilience both physically and mentally, is good for soccer. If your child works hard and always gets up after being knocked down, it’s a good sign they’re athletically gifted for soccer.
- Learning ability is super important. The best athletes are like sponges regarding their ability to learn. And if your child is a fast learner, that’s a fantastic athletic ability for soccer.
How to raise a soccer star?
To raise a soccer star, you should encourage them, tell them where to improve, practice with them, watch games together, and enroll them in a soccer camp or academy.
A winning mentality is a must. With this desire and hunger, improvements will always be made.
This will give them an idea of what the game involves. After that, there are 3 steps parents can take to raise a soccer star:
Keep it fun
The best soccer players enjoy playing the game. Lionel Messi, arguably the best soccer player ever, puts his success down to playing like a kid.
He means that he still enjoys playing soccer as much as he did when he was a kid. That’s remarkable. Playing with the joy of a kid has worked for him.
So, it’d be best for parents to raise a soccer star to keep things fun. If kids are having fun, they’ll want to keep playing soccer.
And the more they play, the better the chances of improving.
As well as helping to keep things fun, practicing together will help improve a kid’s skills. Set up some drills in the backyard or park that you can do together.
It’s a great way to bond while improving the kid’s soccer skills. It’s a win-win situation. Getting creative with the drills can add to the fun.
Also, you can set goals within the practice, as working towards goals is a great way to progress. Set more difficult goals as you go and watch your kid improve.
Enroll the kid in a soccer academy
Although keeping it fun and practicing together are good ways to keep interested and make improvements, enrolling the kid in a soccer academy is the next logical step in raising a superstar.
Coaching from experts is invaluable for a kid’s improvement.
The coaches will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in the kid’s game, which is vital for raising a superstar.
If parents familiarize themselves with the game of soccer and follow these three steps, they’ll be on their way to raising a superstar.
Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.