Since starting Wobble and Kick, a few parents have expressed surprise that I coach babies from one to four years old. Some people have outright said that it’s too early for their baby to learn football. I completely understand the logic behind that but I think a bit differently.
The inspiration behind coaching children from so young comes from seeing babies under one thoroughly enjoying playing with balls. The fact that they can bounce, that they are perfectly round, that they are lots of bright colours and can roll and spin, draws babies to them and keeps their attention for long periods. Most of all, it makes them smile, A LOT.
I am also very optimistic about baby’s ability to learn football from observing the way my 11 month old son and his similarly-aged friends learn. They pick up so many things, waking up each day with a new or improved skill. Watching the Netflix series The Beginning of Life, I am led to believe fervently that young children are the quickest and highest-capacity learners out of all the age groups. They learn to crawl and walk in their first year! There can’t be any better evidence of their superior ability to learn physical things at their age than that.
What’s more, the article on the very popular parent’s site Babycenter, attests to the value of structured play once babies pass six months of age. They say that actually, because babies are so prone to imitating as a means of learning, structured play is really important in giving them a greater spectrum of things to learn as well as different ways of learning the things they naturally show interest in.
I would add that structured play also helps improve technique. As an experienced footballer, I know that technique is so important and learning good technique from the start really improves future outcomes. So many of our teenie footie players can already kick the ball but there is so much more they are capable of learning and I am committed to coming up with creative, fun and engaging ideas for drills and structured play that will help them flourish as mini sportspeople and/or all-rounded kids.
The same way getting your baby into a good routine helps them to learn better, involving and engaging them in structured play, like our footie sessions, will help improve their focus, coordination, ability to share, bonds with you and others, self-control and so much more. There’s so much more I can say on this, but will leave it for the next blog.
If you haven’t tried one of our sessions yet, why not give it a go at one of our pre-school football trials in London SE1?
Let’s Kick It!
Coach Bianca xx