First Touch An F.A. Affliated Kids Football Club Located In Central London, UK. Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:40:25 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Wonders of Sport Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:40:21 +0000

Sport is not just good for children’s bodies, it is great for their minds too, it teaches them important life skills.  Organized sport has many social and psychological benefits for children even more than the physical activity play during the day.  Children benefit from the social side of being in a team and the involvement with other children and adults.

Sport goes beyond learning new physical skills, it helps children cope with the highs and lows of life.  Playing sport teaches children to learn how to lose, being a good loser takes maturity and practice and it teaches children to bounce back from disappointment, to cope with unpleasant experiences which is an important part of becoming resilient.

Sport helps children to learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings is a more positive way.  Another point is that sport helps children to develop patience and the understanding that it can take a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills and what they do in school.

Activities stimulates the chemicals in the brain to make them feel better, playing sport regularly, improves a child’s overall emotional wellbeing.  There is a link between playing sport and self-esteem, a kind word from their coach, team support or achieving their personal best will help a child to feel better about themselves.

Social skills that children need in life also improves as sport teaches children to listen to other children and to be less selfish.  It gives a child the sense of belonging and help them make new friends and builds their social circle outside school.  One of the most important parts of playing in a team is accepting discipline, playing sport means your child is expected to follow rules, accept decisions and to understand that they could be penalised for their bad behaviour.  Sport teaches children to take directions from their coach, referees, and other adults.

As a parent you are important in your child’s role in sports, you need to try keep them interested and enjoying sport by making it a positive experience.  Focusing on having fun, going out and being active rather than winning or losing. 

Overall, when children are engaged in activities that align with their interests, their psycho-social development is enhanced.  Children not only learn a variety of useful skills, they can express themselves, grow into adulthood with an authentic set of values and characteristics and go on a journey of self-discovery.

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A Day in Life Fri, 29 May 2020 09:17:34 +0000 Our blogs are normally about sports, but today I want to share a day in my life with you. 

Waking up yesterday morning, once again it dawned on me that it is just another day in lock-down, so I started with my normal chores around the house and then settled in to start working, as I am one of the lucky ones to be able to work from home.

As the day went by, I started feeling less positive about everything around me, even more than the days before.  By the time I had to make a “healthy” lunch, I opened the fridge looked at those green leafed veggies, fruits and slammed the fridge door, turned around and went and sat on the couch.  There I sat for a few minutes, got back up opened the fridge door and just shut it again, turned around got a pack of crispy chips, my favourite cookies, and a soda pop.  I curled up on the couch and got stuck into the cookies, then the chips and washed it down with a soda pop filled with sugar.

I hate to admit it, but it actually made me feel “good” for a while, I then settled in to continue working and found that my concentration was bad, I wanted to sleep and that little nagging voice kept going on in my head, asking me if it really was necessary to eat all the cookies and chips.  For a while I kept thinking that it is fine, as I needed to feel better.

Well I can assure you that cookies, chips, and soda pop only did the trick for a little while, and leaving me feeling even more negative than I was feeling early morning and I started battling to concentrate on my work.  Again I made the trip to the fridge and looked at the healthy items in my fridge, but my tummy was full and I realised that it would not help to eat healthy now, so what was my next brain wave, a good long walk.

I grabbed my doggie’s lead, obviously he was very excited and off we went, but again a wrong decision as he decided he wanted to go left and the sun was in my eyes, but I kept going squinting my eyes trying to avoid the sun in my face.  On my return the sun was on my back and I could feel the warmth which made me feel so much better.

Getting back home my dog discovered his tennis ball and came running back to me dropping the ball at my feet, I tried to explain to him that I needed to get back to work, but he looked at me with his big brown eyes, begging to play just a little while. 

Well the little while turned into a long while with me chasing him and throwing the ball, watching him jump up into the air, catching the ball and bringing it back to me.  My dog eventually decided that he had had more than enough exercise for the day and went and curled up on his blanket next to my bed, but I wanted to play more, so I took the tennis ball and started throwing it against the wall and catching it first with the one hand then the other.  Soon I was throwing the ball against the wall and tried the spin around before catching it, this proofed to be a bit more difficult, but after a few tries I managed to spin around and catch the ball. 

I must admit that after my long walk and playing with the ball I was tired, but an amazing tired as if all my muscles had relaxed and I also noticed that my concentration had returned. It made me realize that I could face the rest of the day without feeling guilty about my overindulging.

So, what I am trying to bring across is that even if we are in lock down, limited to activities and social distancing, or feeling a little negative, sport in any form is one of the best treatments for the body and mind.

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League Football Thu, 28 May 2020 09:32:36 +0000 First Touch Football league offer tons of benefits to your children, beyond just being an outlet for their excess energy there are more benefits. Registering your child at First Touch will help keep them active in an organized and supervised environment. 

Football is an extremely popular team sport and contains positive social and motivational factors that may facilitate compliance and contribute to a physical active lifestyle.  Getting your child involved in football league is not simply good for their health, it develops good fitness habits that will stick with them when they grow up.

At the beginning our football league is an introduction to league and are simply geared towards having fun and learning the game. The goal is to introduce the game to kids and develop their skills also giving them the opportunity to learn the game in a relatively neutral environment. 

First Touch coaches are of high quality and really cares about the children, they show respect to parents and children while also challenging them to better themselves and their team.

Football league helps children get the exercise their bodies need; it is accessible to all and develops a high level of aerobic endurance and muscular ability as well as requiring good strategic thinking.

Today there are so many advances in technology, and it is becoming easier for children to entertain themselves without interacting with other children.  Therefore, it is important to encourage social interaction and football league is a great way to do this.

Football league is beneficial to children as it can accommodate children of different abilities on one team.  This is extremely important in youth sports, as children of the same age are often at drastically different stages of development and youth football is very forgiving of this fact.

In conclusion, football teaches children skills such as teamwork, decision making, perseverance that they will be able to apply to all aspects of their life.  Football helps children learn to weather the ups and downs of life, anticipate opportunities and how to work with their peers to solve problems.

Most of all, having fun is key to your child’s football development and more importantly, their well-being. Enrolling your child at First Touch is bound to be a fun learning experience for your child and you will enjoy seeing them grow and learn out on the field.

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Treat Your Kids Wed, 27 May 2020 06:48:12 +0000 During the lock-down period we are quite sure many of us have overindulged a little on the “sugary side”, that includes some of us allowing our kids more sugar than before.  For those of us who have a “sweet tooth” it is always difficulty to try and avoid sugar, whether it is sweets or desserts and what’s a better treat than sitting on the couch with the kids with a slab of chocolates.

As parents we should set an example and be concerned about the amount of sugar our children get from sugary drinks, desserts, and snack foods. By understanding sugar, it could help us make the correct decisions.

Sugar adds sweetness to food and drinks, and it is a type of carbohydrate.  Brown sugar, raw sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, agave, honey, and corn syrup are all forms of sugar.  These are often added to food and drinks like pop, some breakfast cereals desserts, energy drinks, chocolate milk, yogurts, and fruit drinks. It is also found naturally in milk, vegetables, and fruit.

According to studies all sugars are the same, honey and raw sugar are not more nutritious than white sugar and all sugars, whether added to food or are naturally found in food, are digested in the same way.  It is however best to try and choose foods with naturally occurring sugars, vegetables, and fruit are nutritious and have important vitamins and minerals.

Drinks and foods that are high in added sugars have extra calories and may have few nutrients.  Sweet drinks and sugary food can make children feel full and leaves less room for healthy foods.  Sugar can lead to cavities in their teeth if they do not brush their teeth regularly.

It is a great idea to try limiting drinks and food that are high in sugar, but children can enjoy sweetened foods and drinks in small quantities, but it is important to offer a variety of healthy foods every day.

Here are a few ideas to help your children eat less sugary foods:

  • A scoop of ice cream with fruit or chocolate pudding as a dip for bananas.
  • Fruit Kabobs or fruit faces.
  • A small amount of juice mixed with soda water as an alternative to sugary drinks or soft drinks.
  • Chocolate milk mix with equal amounts of white milk.
  • Try homemade baked desserts made with less sugar, keep in the freezer so that there is less chance of buying sweets.
  • Try to avoid using sweets as a reward for good behaviour.

For kids, healthy eating ca include small amounts of sugar as it brings enjoyment to eating. Use a little creativity as there are many ways to help children enjoy health eating with less sugar.

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Hand-eye Coordination Sun, 24 May 2020 10:55:49 +0000

By kids participating in sports they will further develop their hand-eye coordination.  Hand-eye coordination allow the eyes to track the movement of the hands naturally, which is very importance for handwriting and reading.  It also plays a role in directing hand-held objects with precision and is good for balance.

Sports play a big role in improving hand-eye coordination by being able to do things that require speed and accuracy like hitting or catching a ball.

Children between the ages of three and five will develop a preference of moving and handling objects with either their right or left hand. This is the best time to introduce some sporting activities like football.  At this stage it is important to encourage participating to further develop their eye-hand coordination.

It is a good age to get your children engaged in activities that involve jumping, climbing, running, swinging, stair-climbing and balancing. Now is the time to let your imagination go to work and create other activities where visual acuity is involved.

Try to encourage your pre-school child to:

  • Throw a ball into a large bin or basket.
  • Throw a ball back and forth to each other.
  • Get engaged in fun sports like football or swimming.
  • Jump, run and do stair climbing one at a time.
  • Kicking a ball.
  • Drawing, printing, and art colouring,
  • Balancing blocks like wooden blocks and Lego.
  • Playing with plasticine or playdough.
  • Puzzle building.

Hand-eye coordination is essential for reading and decoding works.  Reading activities is another great way to improve hand-eye coordination by having your child engage in a variety of reading using their finger to track the text. 

Children should be encouraged at school-age to continue to develop the following skills:

  • Stay active running, balancing, climbing, bike riding and jumping.
  • Motor skill activities of all kinds.
  • Be active playing sports.
  • One-handed activities to develop right or left-handedness.
  • Play catch on a regular basis.
  • Juggle objects.
  • Toss and catch a ball against a wall.
  • Dribble a football.
  • Rope jumping.
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Parents Involvement in Sports Thu, 21 May 2020 16:56:54 +0000

By now most us know how good sports are for kids by keeping them fit, develop skills make friends and learn to manage emotional highs and lows.  As parents we can help our kids be a good at sports by being a good role model and encouraging a positive attitude and showing interest.  Focusing on effort, fun, and participation rather than on winning and losing.

Sports also teaches our kids all about how important it is to always try their best even if it does not mean winning.  Your kid might do a great job of running and kicking the ball, but the team might still lose the match.  It is all about how you and your child see the experience.

Your kid’s effort is the only thing that is completely within his control, if your kid gets to the end of a game trying his best, he has been successful.

Always bear in mind that you are your kid’s role model.  Should you be watching a match together, it will help to be aware of your comments, you can encourage a positive sporting attitude by cheering on your team for all their efforts no matter if they are winning or losing.  By abusing the coach, team, or anyone else for a loss can send a negative message to your kids.

When your kids come home after playing a match, ask whether they had fun rather than asking whether they won or lost, focus on enjoyment, participation, effort and being a good sport. Kids loves to please their parents, make them proud and gain approval, as a parent you can send your kid a powerful message of what makes you proud.

Going to a sports events with your kid, your behaviour has a big influence on your kid, whether it is positive or negative depends on how you behave, sound, take part and speak on the side-lines. Even if your kid is not performing well on that day, think how your kid might feel if you should shout something like “how could you miss that” or even “Can’t you run any faster?”  Compare these feeling to how your kid might feel if you say, “Great shot, – better luck next time”.

Your body language and tone have a big influence on your kid, if they think you are angry with him/her for missing a shot it can take the fun out of the sport, effect their self-esteem and make them feel that they are not good at sports.

Try looking and sounding like you are feeling positive and have loads of fun, this will help your kid feel the same way.  When it comes to the end of the match you can even tell your kid how much fun you had watching him/her or their team playing.

Once your child is part of a sports program, remember that you are an important model for your child.  Find ways to stay positive during competition, discuss any concerns you might have about coaching style, teammate behaviour or other teams in other teams in private with the coach.

Parents want mostly for their kids to have fun and be successful at the sport they choose, but the key to them enjoying their experiences in sports lie in your hands, by helping them choose the right sport and being a good role model for commitment and sportsmanship.

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Activities & Healthy Eating Wed, 20 May 2020 08:55:50 +0000 Children need to eat the correct amount of mixed foods to support that higher level of activity, but the mix do not have too differ from a normal healthy diet.  Eating for sports should be an extension of healthy eating.

Eating well-balanced, healthy meals and snacks will provide the nutrients needed to perform well in sports, but the child athlete will have higher energy and fluid requirements. To keep young athletes performing at their best they need a variety of nutrients, besides getting the right number of calories daily.

Our children need a variety of minerals and vitamins, calcium and iron are two important minerals for athletes:

  • Calcium helps build strong bones and resist breaking and stress fractures.  Low-fat dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt as well as green vegetables such as broccoli are calcium-rich foods.
  • Iron helps to carry oxygen to the different body parts. Chicken, eggs, lean meat, tuna, salmon, leafy green vegetables, fortified whole grains, and dried fruits are all iron-rich foods.
  • Protein builds and repairs muscles and most kids need plenty of protein through a balanced diet.  Lean meat, poultry, beans, so products, fish, nuts, and dairy products are all protein.  Always bear in mind that too much protein can lead to dehydration and calcium loss.
  • Young athletes need carbohydrates and it is an important source of fuel. It is not necessary for carb loading, but without carbs in children’s diets they will be running on empty. Whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread and cereal, brown rice and lots of vegetables and fruits are great carbohydrates.

To prevent dehydration, it is important that young athletes drink plenty of fluids as dehydration can zap strength, coordination, and energy.  It is a good idea for kids to drink water or other fluids before and every 15-20 minutes during activities, it is also important to drink after activities to restore fluid lost through sweat.

Diluted juice is another option but avoid sugary drink and carbonated drinks which could upset their tummies. Water is the best choice for hydration as carbohydrates and electrolytes can be replenished after activities.

On game day it is important that kids eat well, choose healthy foods that enhances their performance.

  • Three hours or more before the activity a meal should have plenty of carbs and moderate amount of protein, but low in fat as it takes longer to digest.
  • Meals less than 3 hours before a game or practice should be a lighter meal or snack that includes easy to digest carbohydrate containing foods like vegetable or fruit juice, crackers, bread, or fruit.
  • A sports drink, pretzels or fruit should be eaten within 30 minutes after activities and again 2 hours later.  A kid’s body will be rebuilding muscle tissue and replenishing energy stores and fluids for up to 24 hours after the competition.  Therefore, it is so important the post-game meals is a balance of carbs, fat, and lean protein.

Snacking suggestions:

  • Breakfast:
    • Low-fat yogurt with granola and a banana.
    • Whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk with sliced strawberries.
  • Lunch
    • Bean burritos with low-fat cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
    • A whole-wheat turkey sandwich and fruit.
  • Dinner
    • Grilled chicken breasts with steamed rice and vegetables.
    • Pasta with red sauce and lean ground beef with a salad.

Even during the off-season, it is important to feed your child healthy meals and snack consistently.

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Bizarre Football Stories Tue, 19 May 2020 08:41:04 +0000 Football has some of the most humorous and bizarre stories around that will leave your shaking your head in disbelief.

In 1945 Arsenal played a friendly against Dynamo Moscow at White Hart Lane in heavy fog.  Despite the urging of players to suspend play, the referee decided that play should go on.

During this game, the fog was so thick and resulted in both side playing by their own set of rules and suffering their own bad luck because of the inclement weather.

At one-point Moscow made a substitution but never took a player off the field, resulting that they had 15 players on the field.

Arsenal decided to make the best of the conditions by having one of their players, who had been sent off earlier, sneak back onto the pitch and playing for the remainder of the game.

Arsenal suffer some bad luck with their goalkeeper knocking himself out cold after running into the goalpost which he could not see as the fog was so thick.  A spectator decided to take the place of the goalkeeper and the match continued.

During the 2009/10 season, a match between Juventud Alianza and General Paz Juniors, in the qualifying round of the Apertura for the Ronda Final, after tying their two legs on a 3-3 aggregate, the clubs headed to penalty shootout.

This is pretty normal right!

Well the shootout ended with Juniors winning with 21-20 in the penalty shootout.  Even more amazing is the fact that there was only one missed penalty, the final penalty by Ruiz for Alainza had his penalty saved by the goalkeeper.

In April 1986, West Ham’s 8-1 home win against Newcastle United, defender Martin scored three goals against three different goalkeepers making him the only player to score his hat-trick in such a way. Martin netted his first goal against Newcastle’s goalkeeper Martin Thomas but due to an injury he was replaced by Chris Hedworth.  Martin then scored against the substitute keeper who was replaced by Peter Beardsley almost at the end of the match, but Martin was on the role and promptly scored again.

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Getting Back Into Football Mon, 18 May 2020 06:55:59 +0000 At First Touch we are aware of the pressures that has been put on everyone worldwide and hopefully this come to an end, but until then we need to take the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy.

Some good news our league football matches will be kicking off during September and we are looking forward to the club starting with training sessions.  These dates will be announced as soon as we have confirmation.

First Touch coaches are aware of the negative impact pressure can put on kids, this is why we focus on individual needs and the benefits of kid’s football.

Football involves a lot of movement, even the goalkeeper gets his/her exercise.  These exercises will help kids stay fit and healthy by improving cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Our coaches continuously focus on the need for kids to be entertained and kept busy as they get bored very quickly.  It is a good thing that football is such a fun activity involving exercise and fostering a positive mental association with staying healthy.

Individual skills are important when playing football, but it is also necessary to play as a team, as teamwork is one of the most beneficial life skills kids need to learn, as it provides a positive impact on school, family, and work.

First Touch teaches kids that being part of a team is not just about learning how to work together and share talents, it is about teaching kids’ leadership and how to gracefully lose.  Kids are taught that being part of a team they learn how to take responsibility, if one player is slacking off the rest of the team suffers for it.

Smartphones, TV, and Games have become a large part of kids life during lock-down, but unfortunately this causes them to lose out on valuable motor skills.  By playing youth soccer, kids will get a chance to develop their motor skills and physical strength in advance.

We believe that kids should get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, this is not just for the physical benefits, as exercise improves self-esteem and moods. 

Playing as a football team is one of the great ways to get some exercise, it provides the usual benefits of an active lifestyle and improves kids’ self-confidence.  When kids are learning new skills successfully and playing in front of other people, they get more comfortable doing so.

Parents watching their kids play a match helps bring families and neighbours together, which is an important factor in developing social interactions for kids and parents.  There is no better way to meet new friends than on the field and kids practicing and playing together regularly, develop a bond.

Exercise and sports help kids perform better in classrooms, their concentration and focus improve, especially when playing a sport like football.  Football is a fast-paced game and kids learn how to solve problems efficiently and quickly.

Football involves getting the ball from point A to point B, their visual-spatial awareness is improved at the same time.

There is no doubt in our minds that youth football is a great way for kids to develop physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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Football Covers It All Sun, 10 May 2020 11:40:26 +0000 Football Fun

Football is extremely popular amongst adults as well as children and there are many benefits of playing football.

Football is excellent exercises football practice, drills and games gives children an awesome cardiovascular workout and improves strength and flexibility.  Diving to stop the opponent from scoring and dashing down the field, leaping up to kick the ball all make for a physically fit son or daughter.

Enrolling your child at First Touch reduces their dependence on screen time and tech devices.  Football gets them out into the fresh air and moving around as well as making new friends.

A child playing football requires a lot of concentration, focus and attention to detail and developing these skills will help on the field as well as in many other aspects of life.

In life, teamwork is important and enrolling your children for football they will be able to learn all about teamwork. Working together and coordinating to achieve success football will help build trust with each other knowing that they can rely on a teammate.

Another aspect of playing a team sport is encouraging each other when the going gets tough. From this experience, children will learn patience, kindness, and the importance of letting everyone have a turn to shine.

Self-esteem is another benefit of playing football, particularly for beginner players, they improve their skills and receive encouragement from teammates, coaches, and begin to see what a difference perseverance and practice can make.

Your child will have a blast playing football as physical activities is a fantastic way to work off extra energy that children always seems to have.  It is also a great way to channel anger, stress, and negative emotions.

As a result of playing football, your child will make new friends, learn how to get along with other children, and become more self-assured and confident through gameplay.

Football extend to all areas of life and you will set your child up with a great foundation when you encourage them  You will set your child up with a great foundation when you encourage them to play football.

Football is so much more that passing, scoring and kicking a ball, it is a wonderful way to in-still values like teamwork, empathy, tolerance, perseverance and respect.

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