Should Girls Play Youth Soccer? – Females In Football
Do girls participate in youth soccer? So, let us explain why this should no longer be considered extraordinary… In today’s digital age and rushed world, full of stress and anxiety, involving girls in sports from a young age can undoubtedly help them make the most of their frustrated lives. A well-structured, organized, and ongoing sport in a child’s routine has numerous scientifically proven advantages. So, when it comes to sports, there is no better sport than soccer, which is full of fun and challenges.
In addition to all of this, let’s look at why girls play youth soccer and what the health benefits are.
According to research, athletes who follow the WHO exercise guidelines have better mental health than athletes who are not as physically active. As a result, sport is important in one’s life and is necessary for both boys and girls. Some may believe that because boys are physically stronger, they perform better in sports such as soccer and basketball than girls.
Though this is true to some extent, it may not always be the case. Looking back in time, girls have played almost all types of sports dynamically, including soccer, and have even defeated boys at times. Here‘s an example of a team of girls who competed solely against a team of boys and won. As a result, regardless of gender, success in any field stems from an individual’s skills, interests, spirit, hard work, and determination. You’ve probably heard the famous saying:
“In the end, hard work and passion beats out natural talent.”
Improves Academic Performance
Some people believe that participating in demanding sports such as soccer will take up your time and negatively impact your career. However, this is not the case. Maintaining a balance between studies and other activities is critical, and it can have positive consequences.
Girls may be less active in sports because they are more focused on their studies. According to research, girls who participate in physically demanding sports such as soccer outperform those who only study. Participating in difficult activities improves concentration, memory, and learning. There is no better way to learn these skills than by playing soccer.
Boosts up Mood & Mental Health
The most important advantage of any sport is that it improves mental health. According to research, exercise releases neurotransmitters that improve mood and bring happiness into a person’s life. Nowadays, depression is a very common problem that affects almost every other person on the planet.
However, a large-scale study was conducted in 2017 to examine the impact of depression on both genders, and the results revealed that girls and women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression due to hormonal differences and life events. Because soccer requires the use of almost all of your body parts, it can play a significant role in lowering the risks of depression, and it becomes even more beneficial when girls play youth soccer.
As a result, it is concluded that if girls participate in soccer, it can have a significant impact on their mental health and help them cope with certain realistic situations. According to James Blumenthal, a clinical psychologist, and Ph.D. at Duke University, there is a substantial amount of data indicating that inactive people are more depressed than active people.
Furthermore, he claims that people who do not stick to their exercise routines are more likely to be depressed than those who do. These pieces of evidence are sufficient to demonstrate that youth soccer can have a positive impact on the mental health of both girls and boys.
Helps in Building Self Confidence
Most girls are naturally shy. Some people even have difficulty interacting with others and fighting for their rights.
Because soccer is a game, and no one wants their team to lose, playing football can help girls develop competitive and coordination skills. Furthermore, soccer can be an excellent choice for developing self-confidence and self-esteem; it can help girls become more socially and physically interactive.
Improves Certain Health Conditions
Because girls are more likely to develop diseases such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, and obesity later in life, soccer lowers the risk of these diseases and aids in the maintenance of a healthy and balanced weight.
A study found that girls who play soccer lose more body fat than runners. This is due to the fact that football requires both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. As a result, switching between these two muscles frequently during the game can aid in fat burning.
Furthermore, after the age of 40, women’s bone mass declines at a rate of 0.5 to 1% per year, whereas soccer can increase bone mineral density by 2 to 3%. This can be of great help in preventing bone aging for an additional 3 to 6 years on average.
Other Health Benefits for Girls
The health advantages do not end there. We are all aware of the importance of having a healthy heart. A study conducted in Denmark in 2010 found that girls who participated in soccer for 14 weeks improved their cardio health and fitness by 15%. Soccer, because of the increased running intervals, is better for maintaining overall heart health than other exercises, such as walking and jogging.
Soccer also helps to increase muscle mass. A 16-week study found that 1 hour of soccer twice a week resulted in an 11% increase in muscle mass in women. The number of capillaries in each muscle fiber increased by 18%, and the function of glucose, a fat-metabolizing enzyme, increased by 11 and 9 percent, respectively.
Risk of Soccer Injuries for Girls
Admittedly, the rate of injuries and incidents among adolescent girls in soccer is high. Soccer has the highest injury rate among girls in high school sports, according to research. A 12-month follow-up in Sweden revealed injury rates in elite female soccer players as high as 24 and 7 in 1000 matches, respectively.
In addition, another study found that 181 female players suffered 189 injuries in the same season in Norway. The German National League also reported 115 females with injuries ranging from 23.3 to 2.8.
How to Prevent Soccer Injuries?
However, there are numerous ways to avoid injuries in soccer. Because it can directly damage the brain, soccer headgear helps players avoid the most common head injuries. Knee and leg injuries are the second most common soccer injury. Because soccer requires a lot of running, turning, and twisting, the ligaments and lower extremity muscles are put under a lot of strain.
You can reduce the severity of this injury by focusing on your physical fitness through regular exercises to strengthen your muscles, warming up before playing, and always wearing knee guards.
U.S Youth Soccer Club for Girls
In the US for example, some of the top soccer clubs for girls include:
- Real Colorado
- Solar Soccer Club, Dallas
- The St. James FC Virginia
- North Carolina FC Youth
- OL Reign Academy, Washington
- PDA, New Jersey
- Eclipse Select (IL)
- FC Bucks
- West Coast FC (CA-S)
So, by now, you’ve probably realized that soccer isn’t really a gender-specific sport. Football tournaments and other male-dominated sports have drawn girls from all over the world. Should girls participate in youth soccer? The answer is found in the individual’s own interests and skills.
Skills, on the other hand, can be easily developed with time, practice, and hard work. However, regardless of gender, the only factor that can influence a person’s success in any sport is whether he or she has an interest in and enjoys doing that particular activity.
To summarize the entire debate, soccer has numerous health benefits, particularly for girls. So, if girls are good at soccer and enjoy playing it, they should seize the opportunity and enroll in a youth soccer program. They have the potential to become future champions and take their skills to the next level at a young age.
Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.
Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.