How to Maximize Your Soccer Tryouts

If your child is active in your local soccer community, then there’s a good chance you’ve received an email or letter from your league administrator at some point during the season. Most community youth soccer programs have a club-team experience for all kids to enjoy. Then there is a select-team experience for youth who want to take their game to the next level.

Families that select a higher skill level for their children must first schedule tryouts with their community association to determine team placement and skill level. You’ll want to maximize the impact your family can make through this process to gain the best possible placement.

Continue reading “How to Maximize Your Soccer Tryouts”

Indoor vs Outdoor Soccer: What Are the Real Differences?

Playing soccer in Toronto during the winter is an interesting challenge. It was my first real introduction to indoor soccer. I’m not talking futsal or arena soccer here. It was a full-sized field that had been constructed inside a building.

That’s also when I learned the first lesson of playing indoor soccer: watch out for the turf seams. My indoor soccer cleats got stuck in a seam as I went for a ball. As I twisted out of the tackle, a wonderfully unappealing sound came from my quad muscle.

There are some other lessons to learn if you are transitioning from outdoor soccer to indoor soccer, especially if you plan to play on a smaller pitch or follow futsal rules. Here’s what you’ll want to know.

Continue reading “Indoor vs Outdoor Soccer: What Are the Real Differences?”

The Evolution of Soccer Cleats, Boots, and Shoes

There’s nothing like strapping up your soccer cleats for game day. You wear those boots for practice too, but the feeling your shoe has on your foot feels different when you’re ready to play a meaningful game. There’s a certain bounce to your step. Your grip feels better. You know that you can do almost anything.

That’s probably how King Henry VIII felt when he put on his first pair of soccer cleats in the early 1500s. A shoemaker named Cornelius Johnson is credited with making the first cleats for soccer.

Continue reading “The Evolution of Soccer Cleats, Boots, and Shoes”

What Are the Best Soccer Ball Brands?

If you want to practice and play with the best soccer ball possible, then you’ll find that there are a number of different brands that are available today. Each brand has certain strengths that are worth considering, so it tends to be more important to look at the specific features of the ball instead of trying to find a specific brand preference.

Here are the key points you’ll want to look at so you can purchase the best possible soccer ball today.

Continue reading “What Are the Best Soccer Ball Brands?”

What Is the Best Soccer Ball in the World?

If you want to be the best at your game, then it helps to have the best equipment at your boot. That means having the best soccer ball in the world available to work on your game.

To be fair, any soccer ball that is used in a top flight professional league is going to be one of the best soccer balls in the world today. That means you can have an excellent training and playing experience by using any one of these soccer balls.

Continue reading “What Is the Best Soccer Ball in the World?”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Soccer Scarves

When you attend any organized soccer game or event, there is a good chance that you’re going to see soccer scarves around. Fans often hold their scarves up high during team songs or even the national anthem. They are seen as a way to express team spirit. Many supporter’s groups create their own scarves to wear out to the game.

The creation of the soccer scarf is actually one of necessity. Outside the United States, most soccer leagues playing over the winter months instead of Spring thru Fall. Sitting outside during a European winter can be more than a little cold. The scarf allows a fan to stay warm enough to enjoy the game.

The first soccer scarves began to appear in the UK in the early 1900s. These first team scarves would feature the colors of the team in an alternating fashion, creating a striping effect on the scarf. It is a style that is still popular to this day.

Continue reading “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Soccer Scarves”

How to Properly Perform a Header with a Soccer Ball

In the game of soccer, players are not allowed to use their arms at all. This means ball control must happen with the feet, legs, chest, and head. Yet there is a very clear and present risk of a soccer ball causing brain damage or other head injuries when it isn’t done properly.

Even the routine heading of a soccer ball during practice can be enough to cause changes within the brain.

Because there will be times when heading the ball is necessary in the beautiful game, it is necessary to teach youth players at an early age the fundamentals of heading. Coaches and parents should also teach youth players that heading the ball is a last resort instead of the first reaction to a ball in flight.

If you follow these five steps, you can properly perform a header and reduce the risk of a concussion or another type of injury.

Continue reading “How to Properly Perform a Header with a Soccer Ball”

How Are Soccer Cleats Different Than Other Sports’ Cleats?

At the beginning of most organized collegiate, high school, and youth soccer games, the assigned officials will take a moment to inspect the soccer cleats of each player. This is done for a very specific reason: soccer cleats are different than the cleats that players wear in other sports.

Yet because of the size and shape of soccer cleats, you can actually wear them in most sports if you wanted to save some money. This includes baseball or lacrosse, though it wouldn’t be safe or allowed to wear baseball or lacrosse cleats while playing soccer.

This is because soccer cleats are low-cut and light. They are designed to help players dig into the ground so they can make cuts and turns with ease. The cleats are shorter than you’ll find in other sports as well because of the need for agility within a soccer match. They are also always made from rubber, not metal, because of the tackling that occurs over the course of a game.

Rubber cleats into a shin at full speed, even when wearing the best shin guards money can buy, doesn’t feel good. Now imagine needing to protect against metal cleats!

Continue reading “How Are Soccer Cleats Different Than Other Sports’ Cleats?”

A Brief History of Soccer in the United States

Soccer in the United States is currently dominated by Major League Soccer. Since 1993, it has been the first-tier professional league in the country, with several additional leagues, such as the NASL and USL, in the secondary tiers.

The history of soccer in the US dates back more than 20 years, however, with the modern game coming state-side in the 1850 thanks to Irish, German, and Scottish immigrants arriving in New Orleans. The first club dedicated to soccer in the US was the Oneida Football Club, which was established in 1862.

Continue reading “A Brief History of Soccer in the United States”

What Soccer Ball Size Is Right for Me?

If you’re thinking about picking up the game of soccer or teaching it to your kids, then the size of the soccer ball you choose is more important than you may think. Balls that are oversized can cause foot and ankle injuries in younger children, while balls that are too small will not really help a player develop their handling, passing, or shooting skills.

Continue reading “What Soccer Ball Size Is Right for Me?”