ith the level of popularity the sport currently enjoys, it’s hard to think of a time in history when the world didn’t know about or appreciate soccer. The sport is aging gracefully, pulling billions of fans year in and out.
For some people, soccer is much more than a form of entertainment. Rather than sit on the stands to watch the game, there’s a burning passion to take it up professionally as a career. For others, the excitement and thrills from watching the sport’s competitive games are more than enough to keep their hearts beating.
What then makes the sport special? When its highest competitive tournament, the FIFA World Cup, is being played, the world comes to a standstill.
Since it has evolved more than just being a form of entertainment, what are the benefits of soccer to life?
This article examines the benefits of this game to humans, irrespective of whether the person is an active player, a supporter of the game, or generally a sports enthusiast.
- How can soccer help you in life?
- 1. Health benefits
- 2. Emotional & mental benefits
- 3. Social benefits
How can soccer help you in life?
There are quite a number of ways to address how soccer can help us in our daily lives. There are health, emotional, and mental approaches to describe its benefits.
To help keep things in order, we’ll begin by examining its health-related benefits.
1. Health benefits
As a sport, it goes without saying that it must have related health benefits attached to it. So here are some of the ways soccer can help you improve your health.
Increased muscle mass and overall body fat reduction
As a sport requiring lots of movements in the form of walking, running, and jogging, soccer is a great way to help burn out unwanted fats in your body while improving your overall muscle mass.
People spend several hundreds of dollars on gym membership to stay healthy and in shape. Although soccer players are encouraged to hit the gym regularly, the sport offers excellent opportunities to help tone muscle fibers and reduce fats.
Having fats in your body, especially around your heart, can cause a ripple effect of health problems. Playing soccer helps keep your body healthy to keep you alive.
Improved cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity
In today’s world, heart diseases, failure, and stroke are becoming more prevalent. This is primarily due to a combination of our diets and lack of proper exercise.
Playing soccer can significantly help reduce the chances of these heart-related diseases because of its rigorous nature.
It helps improve your cardiovascular health by actively reducing blood pressure and reducing your heart rate. Soccer involves a lot of aerobics, but there are activities that can be powered anaerobically.
This, in the long run, has an amazing effect on the heart and body. You’re able to engage in rigorous activities for longer periods without losing energy and “breath”.
Increased coordination and cognitive brain functions
Soccer demands lots of coordination, reflexes, and agility. To excel in the sport, one must train the brain to heighten its spatial awareness.
Almost at every run and turn, players are flooded with different decision possibilities. To stay sharp and react in the best way, players have to adapt to coordinate their bodies in the ever-changing gameplay environment.
Over time, players tend to have improved reflexes and agility. Better coordination, reflexes, and agility are necessary for an ideal life in our day-to-day activities.
Increased bone strength and density
As we grow older, our bones become susceptible to bone-related diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia. These are big medical terms often caused by a decreased bone density and strength.
Playing soccer, especially since it’s done at a young to middle age, can help give the bones the needed strength to carry you into old age. All of those running around and jumping help make the bones strong enough to carry the body’s weight.
Bone density increases as we grow but takes a decline as we begin to grow old. So, working on increasing bone strength has a direct positive effect on its density.
2. Emotional & mental benefits
With the health benefits examined, let’s take a closer look at how soccer can play a vital role in improving our emotional and mental well-being.
Great mood enhancer
The expectation from watching or playing a game can help lift our moods. Just before the start of a game, fans and players are always in high spirits in anticipation of victory.
No matter our social, spiritual, or financial levels in life, we all have our gloom days. However, staying in such a mood for a long time can lead to depression of varying degrees.
For the love of the game, soccer is a fantastic mood enhancer.
Increased confidence and mental strength
Playing soccer, much more than just watching it, can help to boost self-esteem and confidence. As a team sport, you are trained to work as a team and interact on the pitch.
Most people may not recognize it, but soccer has a way of improving mental strength and confidence. A good example of this is understanding the journey of two notable professional soccer players — Lionel Messi and N’Golo Kanté.
It doesn’t take much to see that both of these players are introverts and would have struggled with confidence and their self-esteem at one point or another in their lives.
Seeing how both of them have successfully honed their skills at the highest level of soccer shows the tremendous ability of soccer to boost confidence.
It may not have made them more extroverted, but their style of play and general outlook exudes confidence both on and off the pitch.
The same can be said with mental strength. It takes a lot of mental capabilities to endure the rigors of soccer training and weekly matches. Over time, players become more mentally fit to handle the daily pressures and expectations that the sport demands.
Building better character and personality
To advance to a professional level in soccer, one has to build the right character both on and off the pitch. Coaches, technical staff, and club owners are not open to dealing with players with character flaws.
A quick look at the sport today, and one will notice certain players struggling to fit into their teams because of a character flaw or their inability to work with the coaching staff
For this reason, you’ll come across a majority of soccer players who have, over time, built their character and personality.
Obviously, as humans, we all have flaws and make mistakes. To fit in properly in the sport, players learn to build their character in line with the spirit of the game.
3. Social benefits
Apart from health and mental benefits, soccer provides tremendous social benefits to supporters and participants. Here are some ways in which it achieves this.
Connects you with people
It is a sport loved by over 3 billion fans in a world with a population of about 7.9 people. Theoretically, one in every three persons is a fan or an admirer of the sport. This gives you a vast opportunity to connect socially with people in the sport.
The sport’s most prestigious tournaments, like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League, bring the world together irrespective of race, political ideology, or cultural differences. Soccer allows you to be a part of something big and famous.
Fame and success
As a global sport, playing soccer at its highest level puts players on the global map. For instance, during the FIFA World Cup, a relatively unknown player from an obscure part of the world can suddenly be catapulted into the worldwide stage and given a platform to achieve fame and success.
The sport offers one of the rarest opportunities for seemingly low-profile, gifted players to become part of the game’s history. As we all know, when there’s fame, there’s an easier level playing field for success.
Also, as a multi-billion industry sport, the game offers its participants great financial success as a means of livelihood. Over the years, the revenue generation of the sport has increased exponentially for both players and team managers/owners.
It is because of sports like this that a little boy playing in Madeira, Portugal, could rise through the societal ranks and become one of the richest, most successful players in the sport’s history.
This little boy, Cristiano Ronaldo, will forever be remembered for his talent, skill, and contribution to the sport and the fans.
Everyone knows the financial success of soccer players, managers, and club owners. It’s easy to see their financial statistics openly discussed for transparency and accountability.
However, the sport is not given much credit for indirectly providing a means of livelihood to vendors, manufacturers, distributors, and third-party agents. All aspect of the sport is a revenue-generating factory.
By the very existence of the sport, millions of lives have been changed financially. The engineers and builders involved in erecting stadium masterpieces worldwide can feel its far-reaching effect.
Its vendors sell souvenirs, equipment, memorabilia, while local businesses make sales when their country hosts a major tournament.
This does not include financial contracts for top manufacturers of the sports equipment and kits or soccer shows and programs continuously being aired to keep fans updated about news in the sport.
Scholarships and philanthropies
Soccer offers skilled and talented individuals the opportunity to access quality education in colleges through scholarship programs. In addition, several colleges offer academic and soccer options to young kids in the US.
Outside of the educational sphere, the sport provides financial aid and assistance by supporting charities worldwide. This philanthropic acts go as far as empowering lives in other industries.
As the world’s leading sport by the number of fans and viewers, soccer has survived this long because of the love it enjoys from its supporters.
There are many benefits to be gained if one plays the sport. As an active and rigorous sport, it offers excellent health benefits. It also helps to improve the mental and emotional well-being of those engaged in the sport.
Several life lessons can be picked up when taking cues from how the game is played.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!