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Get Active!

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How to Do It

Soccer

Girls playing soccer

What you'll need

A ball. Soccer balls come in different sizes depending on how old you are.

If you play in a league, a goal will usually be provided for you, and you can buy a smaller goal if you want to play in your backyard — just make sure it is anchored to the ground. No goal? No problem! Just set up any two objects (cones or water bottles are good) to shoot between.

Two pieces of equipment you need to wear at all times when playing soccer are shin guards and cleats. Shin guards are designed to protect your legs from the ball, and from being kicked by other players. They are required in most leagues. The right cleats to wear for soccer are ones that are plastic or rubber — they'll help you with your quick starts, stops and turns.

Play it safe

Be sure to wear shin guards and appropriate soccer cleats during games as well as practices. Warming up, especially your leg muscles, is very important. To avoid headaches and dizziness, use your head and learn the proper technique for heading a ball in a game. Also, to protect your mouth from collisions (especially if you have braces) wear a mouthguard.

How to play

In addition to a good strong kick, you'll want to master basic skills like passing (moving the ball to a teammate with a controlled kick), dribbling (tapping the ball with your feet to move it down the field), trapping (stopping the ball with your feet, legs, or chest), and heading (using your head to stop or pass the ball). Once you get these skills down, you'll be an unstoppable powerful girl!

Here are some great passing and trapping tips.

Passing. Pick your target out before you start the pass. Keep your head down to make sure you kick the ball correctly. Plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball and kick the ball right in the center using the inside of your foot and follow through with your leg.

Chest trap. As the ball comes toward you, get in front of it and let it hit your chest. Bring your shoulders around and slightly inward, creating a cavity for ball. Make sure you keep your arms down, so the ball doesn't accidentally hit your hands and cause a foul. When the ball hits your chest, arch your back, so your chest pops the ball upward and then lands at your feet.

For more information, visit: 
www.bam.gov/sub_physicalactivity/activitycards_soccer.html
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