Knowing what is best for your child isn’t necessarily easy. Parenting can be a potential minefield and it’s good to get advice from elsewhere about techniques.
When it comes to sport there are differing opinions on when it is best for children.
In theory there is nothing wrong with children starting to play football once they can walk unaided. When a child can run around they should be able to play games, right? Well, yes and no. The main problem is that they have only just mastered the skill of walking and possibly running and if you through a ball into this mix and give them a new thing to focus on it could go badly.
This is seen as the golden time for learning, but there is no definite age as children develop at different rates. Up to the age of around 7 children can be very fad-based when it comes to their interest, They can appear incredibly interested in any kind of subject, and they genuinely will be, but all of a sudden they will drop it and move on to someone else. This can also be true with sports.
At 8 years old children are more disposed towards learning things. They might not function great as part of a team, but they will absorb information a lot better. It is certainly a time to teach them the basics of the game.
At this age children begin to become interested in challenging themselves and they are more interested in physical activity with a purpose. By now they should be a little more mature and be able to play as a team member without constant argument and without the need to always be wanting to kick the ball which leads to a huddle of 20 kids crowding the ball in younger games.
By 10 years of age children might start to become interested in joining clubs too. If they have been taught well they will know a lot about football already and will have started to develop reasonable ability.
The important thing to remember is that kids need to be kids. They need fun incorporated into learning and games. Don’t try and involve them in 11-a-side games from such an early age. Play games with smaller teams and with shorter periods of playing until they have the attention span to manage full length games.