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How soccer teaches youth essential soft skills for their future

In a world of constant change, the obsession with academic results in our schools seems to be the favored recipe for success. However, the crucial importance of soft skills, those interpersonal competencies that transcend academic knowledge to enable better interaction with our environment, effective collaboration, and the achievement of our goals, is gradually gaining recognition. Faced with this reality, can we truly rely on the traditional educational system to value these skills? While the answer is not clear-cut, there is one area where learning these soft skills is essential: sports, and more specifically soccer, the global king of sports.


The Importance of Soft Skills


Collaboration, communication, empathy, problem-solving ability, and leadership are identified as soft skills crucial for success in both the professional world and personal life. A Forbes article, published in November 2023, highlights these interpersonal skills, increasingly sought after by employers for their role in transforming an average employee into a high-performing, pleasant, and motivating team member.


Soccer as a Live Classroom


With its universal appeal and strategic essence, soccer proves to be a unique and captivating way to instill these essential skills from an early age.


- Teamwork and Collaboration: Inherently collective, soccer teaches the importance of cooperation and pursuing a common goal, while respecting the varied roles within a team.

- Leadership: On the field, kids learn to take initiative, inspire their peers, and take responsibility, forging leadership qualities that are transferable to their future professional lives.

- Communication: Crucial in soccer, communication allows young people to develop the art of expressing themselves clearly and listening actively, valuable skills in any professional interaction.

- Resilience and Adaptability: Soccer teaches overcoming defeat and adapting to changing situations, cultivating a mindset that sees failure as an opportunity for learning and growth.

- Problem-Solving: Faced with the changing dynamics of the game, children learn to think before acting to develop strategies and solve problems creatively.


Implications Beyond the Field


The soft skills developed on the soccer field have significant repercussions in professional and personal life, making skills like teamwork and collaboration indispensable in almost all work contexts.


Notable Examples


The match between Saudi Arabia and Argentina during the 2022 World Cup perfectly illustrates how a less experienced and less endowed team can triumph over a supposedly superior opponent through solid collaboration, communication, and team spirit, demonstrating the importance of the col

collective over individual performances.


Conclusion:


Integrating soccer and other sports into school programs as a means of teaching soft skills is a promising avenue for the comprehensive development of children. By leveraging the lessons learned from sports principles, children can become aware of the importance of these skills and develop them throughout their curriculum to benefit their future careers.


We strongly encourage teachers, school principals, and parents to explore the FOOT IQ program, an educational initiative that uses soccer as a vehicle for learning the soft skills crucial for young people's future success.

The FOOT IQ program collaborates with the Viamonde School Board , MonAvenir School Board , and Toronto District School Board. For more information, we invite you to visit (http://www.foot-iq.com).


In an era where academic qualifications are often placed on a pedestal, integrating sports, especially soccer, into educational environments underscores a broader vision of learning and development. Considering education beyond textbooks, recognizing the educational potential of a ball, and the importance of team spirit, is preparing our children to confidently face the challenges of the future.



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