6 Reasons Why You Need to Play Soccer Right Now
It teaches us invaluable lessons that can be applied both on and off the field, and many people play soccer for a variety of reasons - to socialise with friends, to get fit, as a hobby or simply a way of individual expression.
Also, at the end of this article are some frequently asked questions answered for beginners.
1. Winning requires Teamwork.
Winning in football requires teamwork. In a football team, you learn that the goals of the team come before your ego and your personal agenda.
All too often, we witness footballers who play out of position in a bid to score a goal for themselves only for the opposing team to launch a counterattack and exploit a gap in the formation.
2. Soccer bonds people from different cultures and ethnicities together.
With the ability to unite, soccer has created a plethora of national and international heroes, while supporting an entire ecosystem of players, coaches, academies and companies.
Football’s greatest strength lies in winning the hearts of a global fan base, as can be seen by the explosive popularity of top Premier League clubs in Asia.
In soccer, when you play in a localised league, you’re likely experience high points and low points and need to lean on your team for support and motivation through the course.
Soccer is likely to lead to strong collaborations in your team, and even lifelong friendships! If you’re looking to find soccer buddies, then join our Decathlon Football Community (Singapore) Facebook Group!
3. Soccer teaches you all about discipline and work ethic.
Individual preparation derives from regular, proportioned meals, frequent workouts and constant drilling of runs and passes on the training ground. It’s difficult, but when done regularly, it boosts your confidence during game time.
More importantly, having the discipline to optimally prepare your body and your mind for a game spills over into other aspects of your life as well.
The perseverance you get from training in a sport leads to stronger discipline in life, and the more disciple you have, the more successful you will be. Learning to strive towards your goal and work hard towards achieving in under stressful circumstances is likely to gift you with a competitive drive over your peers.
Perhaps this explains why many companies are favourable towards hiring student-athletes, such as how an established accounting firm lets Singapore athletes work and train.
4. You don’t have to be tall to have a big advantage in soccer.
Yes, tall people tend to be able to head the ball better given their height, and are said to be built as “natural defenders” given their “superiority in the air” but what this means is that they’re usually slower.
Being short can allow you to add pace, agility and aggressivity to your team’s dynamics - and we look no further than Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi.
These players tend to rely on creativity and skill in their game, which makes football a seemingly more inclusive sport for all.
Perhaps we take a peek into science where short football players generally have a lower centre of gravity and tend to take shorter strides.
Shorter strides allow shorter players to change directions quickly when shielding the ball away from opposing players, resulting in better ball control and higher ball possession.
5. Football teaches us to learn from our mistakes and to bounce back from failure.
This is similar to what we see in life where we are part of many teams, starting from our family to work-based teams to social activities. Not everything you do is likely to be successful, and not every group is likely to meet expectations.
When failure strikes, it’s not a bad thing either, because these emotional circumstances tend to motivate you to learn from your mistakes and strive for a better result.
6. Playing soccer with friends improves your general fitness levels and health.
In addition to physical benefits, exercising also brings about positive energy, increases one’s self-esteem, builds discipline and helps to foster mutual respect, especially in team-based games like soccer.
Interestingly, in a study reported by ScienceDaily, light was shone on a 3-year research project by Professors Peter Krustrup and Jens Bangsbo from the department of exercise and sports sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
This study focused on examining the physical effects of soccer training for untrained subjects aged 9 to 77 years, with the men, women and children divided into football, running and control groups.
A notable finding from the study showed that playing soccer resulted in positive motivational and social factors that might “facilitate compliance and contribute to the maintenance of a physically active lifestyle”, in the words of Professor Peter Krustup.
Moreover, he also notes that the study also demonstrated how soccer training resulted in a significant decline of cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal adaptations, independent of gender, age or lack of experience with soccer.
5 Questions that Beginners want answered
How long is a football game?
At the end of each football half, the referee can add on a certain number of additional minutes of play, usually because of in-game delays. These delays are usually caused by substitutions, player injuries and other issues of downtime, such as pitch invaders.
These additional minutes are usually known as stoppage time, where the most dramatic of victories and losses are always determined during this time.
It is an issue sometimes when referees, as arbiters of the game, find themselves being blamed for a team’s loss because the decision to add time is his (or hers).
As a result, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used at the 2018 World Cup, currently being utilised in Italy and Germany's top divisions, and has been utilised in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games. This issue, on its own, is now a controversy in some circles.
Where, and when, was soccer invented?
From FIFA’s official account of the History of Football - The Origins, the game was codified in 1843 in England when rugby football and association football went off on separate courses.
There are also accounts of earlier forms of the game where there is scientific evidence from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China, of a variation called “Tsu Chu”.
This Han Dynasty style of football comprised “kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes”, as narrated on FIFA’s website.
How many players are on a football team?
This is because only 11 players from each team can be on the field at all times, where 3 substitutes are allowed during the course of the game.
However, a club team usually has slightly more than 22 players made available in their squad through the season, due to a higher risk of players suffering from injury.
All competitions have their own rules, which explains why some teams which lose key players to injury during the course of the competition find their squad being “depleted” towards the end of the season. This also explains why there’s a January loan transfer window for the Premier League.
How did soccer become so popular?
You could even practise dribbling by yourself, or find a few friends to have a social kickabout.
Watching your national team, or favourite club, is also likely to evoke emotions in you, and with your family and friends. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final was watched by 211 member countries and an estimated 3.5 billion fans worldwide!
Soccer is certainly a global sport and transcends generations where soccer is known to unite people of all ages, races and ethnic groups. FIFA also makes it a point to spread the word against Racism in all of its events, in its well-known campaign, FIFA against Racism.
How heavy is a football (soccer ball)?
The soccer ball used in professional leagues and in the FIFA World Cup is called “size 5”. FIFA advises that a Size 5 ball must weigh between 450 g, or 16 oz., and 420 g, or 14 oz.
The ball's weight is measured at the beginning of the match. At Decathlon, all of our soccer balls are FIFA approved. The smallest official ball, Size 3 is the official soccer ball for young children and toddlers, with an average circumference of 23-24 inches and a weight of 310 - 340 grams.
Size 4 is the standard soccer ball for kids aged from 9 to 11 years old, with an average circumference of 25-26 inches and weighs about 310- 260 grams.
When big teams lose to smaller ones, they can react in two ways - accept the defeat and move on, or to make changes to their team and players and be ready for the next game.
Which strategy is right for you depends on your goal in life, but what we can all do is to face our challenges head on without a heavy focus on results, The means to achieve the end is definitely a great learning process.