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Ways to Play Soccer

2 minutes, 6 seconds read

Male Soccer Players

There are a lot of soccer programs available, each with varying types of structure and levels of commitment. Research all of your options first to find the one that will be the right fit for your child.

Club soccer

Age

8 and older

Good for

Those who want to increase their skills and push themselves to play better.

Commitment

Clubs typically play year-round in some capacity, with practices three to five times a week. They can also involve travel at a metro, regional, or state level, and often require a larger financial and time commitment.

Structure

These leagues are focused on skill development and competition. Players often need to try out and be assigned to a team. In this format, you’ll tend to see higher-level players and coaches.

School soccer

Age

Middle and high schoolers

Good for

Those who want to represent their school, playing with classmates and friends.

Commitment

This tends to be the middle ground between community/recreational and club soccer. There’s a mid-level financial commitment, and you’ll likely practice daily during the season.

Structure

Like club soccer, school soccer is a formal league with tryouts. However, it does differ in that there’s usually a team for everyone, based on skill level. Your competition will often be opposing schools.

Community/recreational soccer

Age

Young kids to adults

Good for

Those who enjoy the game, but view it more as a way to stay active with friends.

Commitment

These leagues tend to be lower cost and require a smaller time commitment. You’ll typically play for a defined season, practicing one to two times a week, with no expectations for off-season training.

Structure

The goal is to learn the basics of the sport, then just get out and play. It tends to be less intense and competition-focused. In general, anyone and everyone can play, and coaches are typically volunteers or parents.

Life Time Sport

Age

5 and older, including teens and adults

Good for

Those who enjoy the playing aspect of soccer. You can choose to play soccer here for fun, or do so in addition to another team you’re on.

Commitment

There are no tryouts or committing to a season—just come and play when it works for your schedule. There are drop-in and day passes available, and you don’t have to be a Life Time member to play.

Structure

The structure can be as tight or loose as you prefer. Knowledgeable coaches are there to help with skill development or to just facilitate play.

Sports in this article

Soccer

Tags in this article

Beginner