Thursday, July 19, 2018

Team sports like soccer do more than just keep kids fit. By instilling healthy habits and keeping children busy and active, the team practices and games can help players not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

Fitness

With childhood obesity on the rise, team sports are a great solution to providing children with consistent exercise.

No “I” in Team

Having a team attitude not only encourages sportsmanship but also cooperation. Learning to work together to achieve a common goal teaches kids how to develop friendships and empathy.

Respect

Being part of a team means that everyone, from the star player to someone with little experience, deserves respect on and off the field.

Time Management

Learning to balance practice, homework and family time becomes imperative, especially as kids get older. Students playing sports have the opportunity to learn how to find a healthy balance among the different areas of their lives.

 A+ On and Off the Field

Physically active kids have up to 40% higher test scores, according to Project Play by the Aspen Institute.

Stress Relief

Sports are a great way to loosen up and play out any frustrations. Making friends on the team, having coaches and teammates as mentors also help kids let out any worry or stress they have developed during the day.

Winning Isn’t Everything

Life isn’t always fair and referee calls don’t always seem to be fair either. Athletes have to learn how to deal with disappointment, making young players stronger as they grow older. No team wins every game, but a loss can teach the true importance of perseverance and never giving up. 

Gulf Coast Soccer is proud to be a full-service club offering playing options for players of all ages and ability levels from Recreational to Academy to Competitive Soccer at the older ages. We know that virtually all players start at the recreational level. This is also the place where parents begin their soccer education as "soccer mom" or "soccer dad." This is where parents often become volunteer coaches, referees, administrators, board members, and receive their first form of soccer education.

The Recreational level of play is an ideal and vibrant entry point for the player who wants to be introduced to the game, play with friends, and participate on a team. Recreational soccer is open to all players and is primarily devoted to the enjoyment and development of soccer players. No tryouts are required to join a team.

The Recreational player is of any age and is interested in playing in a less committed environment. Seasons are typically shorter, tournaments are fewer, traveling is less, and coaches are volunteer-based. Recreational soccer is purely for the enjoyment of the sport, and not as much focus is placed on advanced technical and tactical instruction or wins.

Recreational coaches can vary with levels of expertise; however, all coaches will have access to South Texas Youth Soccer coaching resources, development, and licenses and will be reimbursed upon successful completion by Gulf Coast Soccer. Gulf Coast Soccer also provides a club-wide player development curriculum and practice plans for all recreational coaches. All Gulf Coast Soccer coaches must clear a South Texas Youth Soccer Background Check.

Learn More about the Recreational Program HERE

>>>REGISTER NOW FOR THE FALL SOCCER SEASON<<<

 

At a glance

  • Team sports provide kids with important lessons on personal values.
  • Children who play team sports are less likely to feel isolated.
  • Team sports can encourage parents to become active with their kids.
  • Team sports help kids deal with winning and losing.
  • Team sports can help kids overcome shyness.

If you want your child to grow up to be a confident and well-adjusted adult, then team sports may well be the answer.

"When you play a team sport you learn that it doesn't just come down to the best player," says Ross Morrison, a sports expert with the Department of Education.

"It comes down to working as a team, accepting decisions and understanding that people have different abilities."

Learning about values

Playing a team sport provides kids with important lessons in personal values, Ross says. "Kids learn that things aren't going to go their way all the time, and that they need to respect their peers as well as referees and sports officials."

These experiences can influence them throughout their lives such as when it comes to working for a boss, or respecting the police or other authority figures.

Kids learn that things aren't going to go their way all the time, and that they need to respect their peers

Team sports can also be good for a child's mental health. Children who play team sports learn how to be more resilient when presented with a setback, and are less likely to feel isolated, Ross says.

"Society puts a lot of pressure on kids to be more academic," he says. 

"But there is evidence to suggest that physical activity might increase numeracy and literacy. It's like that adage, ‘a healthy body, a healthy mind'."

When your kids take part in team sports they develop:

  • friendship and camaraderie
  • cooperation and teamwork skills
  • leadership skills
  • appreciation of different abilities
  • respect for team mates/ opponents/officials
  • a sense of belonging/team membership
  • social interaction skills
  • physical skills
  • self-esteem and self-concept
  • team goal-setting skills
  • self-discipline, patience and persistence
  • resilience through sharing positive and negative experiences.

Getting active (together)

With so much research emphasizing the benefits of getting more exercise rather than being a couch potato, knowing their child is involved in team sports can put a parent's mind at ease.

"It's satisfying for parents to know that your kids are getting fit and healthy instead of just playing electronic games or watching television," says Ross.

"But as well as the social side of standing around with other parents and making friendships, there can be a spin off too," he says. 

"Sometimes parents look at their kids running around and think, ‘Maybe we can get together and do something like that, too'."    

Teams sports give kids the opportunity to:

  • be less selfish and to think of other people
  • deal with losing as well as winning. They learn that things are not going to go their way, or the team's way, all the time
  • overcome shyness by putting them into situations where they need to communicate with others
  • become more sociable in different environments. They must deal with different people, who may or may not be their friends.

The ABC's of Physical Literacy

In the same way that children learn their alphabet as a stepping stone to reading and becoming literate, children should also develop their physical skills to become physically literate. Canadian Sport for Life defines being physically literate as a child having learned basic human movements, fundamental movement skills, and introductory sports skills before the start of their adolescent growth spurt. Three critical physical skills to develop are known as the ABCs of physical literacy: Agility, Balance and Coordination. Parents are welcome to download this Active Start physical literacy flyer.  

Learn more about Gulf Coast Soccer programs for 3-6 years olds, please visit our program pages listed below: 

Registration for the Spring 2018 Soccer Season is Open

 

The Board of Directors decided this summer to create an in-house staff position to manage the concession for the club. Our goal was to improve the quality of the food, improve the menu choices, and to make the concession stand a place where our members look forward to stopping by before or after a game.

We are very excited to announce Scott and Tina Legendre of Groves Café are joining our club staff to manage the new and improved concession stand. They have been working over the summer to create a new menu, set the club up with quality food suppliers and planning for the fall season. Scott and Tina have a strong commitment to supporting our community and the Gulf Coast Youth Soccer Club. Tina played here as child and loves soccer. They will be great a great addition to our team. We sat down with them to learn more about what our members can look forward to and why they chose to get involved at Gulf Coast Soccer…

Scott and Tina, 

Many of us grew up playing sports and visiting the concession stand for a snack, treat or a meal after our game was a big part of the fun. What kind of menu can our membership expect this season?

There are certain foods you look for when you go to a ball-park concession stand, and we plan to have those available. However, at the same time, it is important to promote healthy options for the kids and adults, so we will have some healthy alternatives as well. For example, we’ll be serving breakfast tacos and muffins as part of our breakfast fair. Alternatively, you can select healthy oatmeal or a fruit cup. We will also be carrying Groves Café signature coffee and cold brew to get the morning started off right. For lunch, we’ll have pulled pork or chopped beef sandwiches, hotdogs, nachos, and Frito pie or grilled chicken sandwiches for a healthier alternative. Once we get a new grill installed we will begin offering homemade hamburgers. Look for special items to appear occasionally to change things up from time to time.

Read more: Groves Café to Manage the Club Concession Stand