Preparing for soccer practice can be an exciting time for young kids. It might be the first time they played a team sport, and they want to wear the same type of clothing that others put on.
Parents should always be mindful of keeping up with what their kid has on as they go off to soccer. The essentials work for safety reasons, but it’s not the only reason why it takes a little bit of extra time to prepare.
This is a look at what to wear for soccer practice. Other tips including what not to wear, what to bring, and more to make soccer fun, safe, and exciting.
The essentials for a kids’ soccer practice are the following:
- Soccer Cleats
- Shirt and Shorts
- Proper Underwear
- Shin Guards and Socks
Soccer Shoes or Cleats
Having the right footwear is top on the list for gear for soccer practice. Parents need to invest in a pair of appropriate shoes so that players aren’t slipping around.
While there are different variations of footwear for soccer, they break down into two categories: indoor and outdoor. Outdoor soccer cleats are the more traditional style, as they have cleats on the bottom that help with gripping the field.
Outdoor fields usually are made of either grass or turf. Younger kids, don’t need a specific type of cleat, as long as it provides some grip.
Indoor soccer requires a shoe that doesn’t have cleats on the bottom. Instead, it’s all about having a solid grip and an upper that will make it easier to kick the ball around. It’s best to start a new year off with brand-new shoes to provide maximum traction.
Comfortable Shirt and Shorts
Younger kids don’t need to have soccer-specific clothing to still have a good time and be comfortable at practice. Just make sure that the material is lightweight and breathable. Polyester blend shirts and shorts usually work best.
There’s plenty of soccer-specific apparel out there, but the expense isn’t necessary at first. The more a player moves up the ranks, the more important it is to invest in actual soccer gear compared to just normal training gear.
The style these days is to have both shirts and shorts that are pretty tailored to the body. Putting a player in baggy clothing for soccer could slow them down. Not only is it a bit bulkier, but sweat can start to accumulate and drag clothing down.
This is a big one, since there’s a lot of running around on the field. The last thing a person wants is any type of chafing or other issues.
The ideal choice for underwear is to use spandex, which includes sport-specific options. This will be a little bit lighter for players and wick away moisture as well. As long as the fit is right and comfortable, everything should stay in place during play.
Starting girls off with a sports bra is also recommended at any age. It will get them in the habit of wearing it, and it will protect against any awkward rubbing on the nipples. A lot of guys also wear an undershirt for similar reasons.
Shin Guards and Socks
Shin guards are mandatory at a lot of youth soccer leagues. This can be a very vulnerable area when players are kicking the ball around.
As younger children learn the game, they are bound to make mistakes. A ball can either go hard off the shins, or a person could receive a kick from an opponent when going for a ball. Either way, shin guards help protect that part of the leg.
Shin guards and socks go hand-in-hand in a lot of ways. For that reason, soccer socks are usually very high. They will go up to the knee and protect a young player’s skin. The shin guards go underneath the socks so that they can go right up against the leg.
What Clothes Should Children Stay Away From In Soccer?
There are a lot of self-explanatory clothing options out there that don’t make sense for soccer. For example, wearing a suit and leather dress shoes won’t make any sense on the pitch. However, there are some choices that too many parents go with that don’t make sense.
Jewelry can fall off during play. It can also end up harming an opponent since there is contact in soccer. Keep all jewelry at home, or at least take it off upon arrival.
Sharp, Hard Accessories
Anything sharp or hard should stay off a player in soccer. This can cause harm to both a player and the opponent. Hair clips or pins can be painful when trying to head the ball. Go for something soft and able to take the impact if needed.
Some soccer players at the youth level have found a way to play with standard glasses. It’s never recommended, simply because they are too prone to falling off.
There are some options out there for parents to consider. Sports glasses or goggles will help out to some degree. If a child’s eye doctor approves of wearing contacts, that’s another solution out there. Sometimes it’s impossible to go without standard glasses, but avoid it if possible.
What Else Should Kids Bring to Soccer?
Besides dressing correctly, kids should bring a few other items to soccer. Going with the bare minimum, it’s essential to not show up completely empty-handed.
Having a soccer ball helps out at any level. Younger players getting to practice early can warm up with somebody else as long as someone brings a ball. In recreational leagues, there might be some people who don’t bring a ball at all. This means that the ball becomes the main option for practice.
There are different types of soccer balls out there to consider purchasing. Make sure to buy one that’s age-appropriate in size. High-quality balls are usually a bit more expensive, but they do last longer.
Even if the weather is mild, water is crucial for any soccer player at any age. There’s a lot of running around, and that means a loss of fluids.
Whether it’s water, a sports drink, or a combination of the two, getting fluids into the body makes sense. Never overlook the need to replenish body fluids throughout standard play.
Finally, every soccer player should have a bag to keep any accessories in one place. When on an open field, pieces just left around can end up getting lost. A soccer bag doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be big enough to carry the main essentials.
Is Proper Attire Mandatory For Soccer Practice?
In most cases, players don’t have to wear anything specific to soccer practice. The only thing request for younger players is a reversible jersey in some cases.
This is so that teams identification becomes rather easy. There’s also a common request that every player has cleats, since it’s a safety concern just as much as it’s having the right equipment.
Everything else can be left up to the parents for the most part. This means packing layers for colder temperatures, bringing along extra shoes, having jersey options available, and much more. It’s always good to stay prepared, but the great thing about soccer is that not too much is needed for play.