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Understanding the Basics of Soccer

The Gear:

Soccer is a great sport that requires only a few essentials: a jersey, shorts, long socks over shin guards, and cleats. While some players opt for head gear, it’s not required.

The Field:

Once you are geared up, you can step foot onto the field, but unlike my three year old’s little league soccer games, it’s not just a herd of children running after a ball. There are actual positions on a soccer team—defenders, midfielders, forwards, a goalkeeper, a sweeper, and the libero.

On the field, there are two goals, one for each team. There’s are also penalty areas, a halfway line, and the perimeter of the field, marked with touchlines.

The Game:

Knowing what you’re looking at helps as you start watching the game in action. When the game begins, everyone has an objective, but not everyone’s objective is to make the goal. As a team sport, soccer is very choreographed, with each player playing a specific role. Formations are used to place players in specific locations during a play.

It’s important for the players to practice passing drills so that during the game, they can pass the ball, using only their feet, throughout a play.

The objective is to work as a team to pass the ball the length of the field, while the defenders keep the opposing team from getting the ball, and scoring as many goals as possible without the goalie intercepting the shot.

There are more rules in soccer, including penalty shots, corner kicks, throw-ins, etc. But for now, we will stop at the basics of the game. Now when you show up to the soccer field, you’ll know why your son passes off and stays in his designated area of the field.