Choosing the right equipment for our sporty children is never easy, especially when they’re so easily influenced. “Henry has a blue pair of football boots”, “Sarah has a Nike top”, “Ronaldo wears that make of boots and he’s the best” – who hasn’t heard something like that as a parent when you go into the sports shop, (or for weeks up to your shopping trip?)
Working out the difference between the equipment they need to help them perform to the best of their abilities and develop as sportsmen and women in years to come; and the equipment they just want, is difficult. The influences upon them in terms of friends, professionals and television adverts don’t help, and then you have them seeing something in a shop and deciding they have to have it without actually knowing if it’s relevant to them or not!
Hopefully, this guide will help you to choose the RIGHT equipment to help them, and not just the ones they want, so bear these facts in mind the next time you shop in store or online:
Kids are growing all the time and you soon find that the boots or trainers you bought a few months ago no longer fit, or the tracksuit bottoms are too short in the leg. It’s always difficult because they keep growing in fits and starts so you can never establish what size they actually are. When it comes to choosing your latest batch of kit, remember to consider growing room – but don’t go mad! While buying “for the future” is good, they can hardly play in footwear or clothing that is two or three sizes to big for them. Make sure there is enough room for growth and movement and that they can walk and run freely.
One of the most important considerations – set a price limit and stick to it. A lot of equipment is very expensive, especially when you cross over from the junior sizes into the adults with equipment like boots and bats. By setting a budget with your child before you go into the store, you can pull them away from the top of the range Adidas boots that they don’t need at the age of seven, directing them to a high quality pair that fits your budget and their standard and ability. You don’t need top of the range at a young age, you need to get the basic skills.
While the latest, “flashiest” equipment might look great to the eye (or garish depending on your view of course), it might not be the most practical for them. For example, your child might play on artificial surfaces in which case boots with metal studs would be inappropriate and you would want plastic, molded studs or specific footwear designed for artificial surfaces.
Where possible, help them out with the training yourselves. If you have a rough idea how to help them develop their skills, then there is plenty of football equipment at soccer store that’s perfect for the back garden to let them work on their control, shooting and passing so they can get better and better all the time and play on their own if their friends are out or you’re busy.