Why Free Play Soccer?
Free-play is the best way to find joy playing soccer. The game allows one to experiment, be creative, solve problems and most of all are enjoyed with friends. This page is dedicated to information about the beauty of the world's games in its purest sense and how you can find out where the pickup games are happening.
“Everything I have achieved in football is due to playing football in the streets with my friends.”
– Zinedine Zidane
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Benefits of Free play Soccer
For generations of Americans, casual play—from the sandlot to the recreation center—was a foundational experience, a kid-directed zone that rewarded expression, fostered social skills, and demanded some degree of inclusion. It also delivered hours of physical activity, without that ever being the goal
The 1970s are long gone. Today, many parents are reluctant to let children ride bikes across town to play games with friends. Fear of child abductions, while extremely rare, is a psychological barrier, and crime and traffic concerns are real issues in some neighborhoods. Families are smaller, so there are often fewer siblings to play with at home. But experts recognize the need to reintroduce free play where possible, given the science. “To promote lifelong, intrinsically motivated sport participation, it is imperative to build a foundation during childhood,” sports psychologist Jean Coté writes. “Inclusion of high amounts of deliberate play activities early in development provides that motivational foundation.”(from Aspen Institute's Youth Sports Playbook Summary)
Play instills a passion and a love of the sport. Play builds all-around athleticism. Perhaps most important, play stimulates brain development. It hastens the growth of the brain centers that regulate emotion and control both attention and behavior. Play inspires thinking and adaptation, promoting creative problem-solving and conflict resolution. It allows children to build their own games, define their own rules, and develop the cognitive skills that are needed, not only for athletics but also for every aspect of life.(excerpt from John O'Sullivan, Every Moment Matters: How the World's Best Coaches Inspire Their Athletes and Build Championship Teams)