Look Mom no hands! With the Women’s U.S. Soccer Team fresh off their World Cup win, soccer is once again in the spotlight. Soccer is a high energy endurance sport that helps kids develop agility, speed and stamina. It also teaches children the importance of teamwork. Soccer is a popular kid’s sport and many Des Moines area communities offer soccer leagues for a variety of ages and skill levels.
If you have a “high energy” kid that you’re looking to wear out, soccer may be the game for them. Since players never stop moving they get an intense workout. Soccer is also great because more than half the players in the United States are girls. Making girls just as apt to be a star on the soccer field as the boys. Soccer is also a true team sport. Participants must learn cooperation and to relinquish the ball to their team mates.
Soccer athletes have the potential to encounter stains, sprains and fractures the same as a lot of other sports. However, soccer has come under scrutiny recently, just as football has, in regards to brain injuries. If not trained properly “heading the ball” excessively could potentially injure a soccer player’s brain.
If your kid loves running around and gets along well with other kids, soccer may be a game they would be interested in. It’s also good for kids that are wary of a lot of pressure being placed on individual performance. Choose a soccer league that matches your child’s needs. If you are unsure which league is best, talk to some team coaches to see if they are a good match for your child.
- Under-6: Practices last 30 to 45 minutes one to two times a week with one game per week.
- Under-8: Practices last one hour, one or two times a week with one game per week.
- Under-10: Practices last one hour and 15 minutes, two or three times a week. At least one game per week, possibly two or three if on an elite team. May also participate in weekend tournaments.
- 10+: Practices last one hour and 30 minutes, three or more times a week. At least one game per week, possibly two or three if on an elite team. May also participate in weekend tournaments.
- T-Shirt, Soccer Jersey or Uniform
- Practice Clothes
- Tennis Shoes (younger kids)
- Soccer Cleats (older kids)
- Shin guards
- Ball (Under-8s and younger play with a No. 3. Under-10 through Under-12 play with a No. 4. Players Under-14 through adult use a No. 5.)
- Registration: Under-6 – start at $50.00
- Under-8 – start at $90.00
- Under-10 – start at $100.00
- 10+ – start at $110.00
Most leagues play a fall season (August through November) and a spring season (March through June).
- Registration: All ages – start at $40.00/month. Many competitive programs may play with only a short break in the winter and a short break in the summer.
- Tournament Entrance Fees: $500+ per team
- Coach Tournament Fee and Travel Expenses: $100 – $500 average per event
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
- T-Shirt, Soccer Jersey or Soccer Uniform: May be included with the registration fee. $40.00+ if not included.
- Soccer Cleats: $20.00+
- Shin guards: $10.00+
- Ball: $15.00+
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity, whether it’s through a parks and recreation department or a local soccer club. Please keep in mind some registration fees are one time, others are monthly. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
There are several soccer clubs scattered across the metro. A handful are listed below. Schools and city parks and recreations departments also offer opportunities to play soccer.
What do you think, is soccer a fit for your kid?