Should You Let Little Kids Beat You in Soccer?

Who will win? (Photo:

Whenever you play against a little kid in the game of soccer, you always kind of want to let them win.  Sure, you could dominate them the entire game and ruin their day, even tossing them aside as you muscle through their pathetic defense en route to a glorious goal!  But then you may ask, what’s the point?  Also, you could wonder what sort of effect this has on the mind and heart of a young soccer player. Will it encourage them to try harder or resign them to simply give up altogether?  And what if you let them win?  Will they still feel the need to train hard, or do they suddenly believe they are the next coming of Diego Maradona?

These questions are tough to answer, especially if this is your very own child that you are training to become a soccer star.  The trick is in finding the balance.  That is, you should let the little kid beat you some of the time, but you also need to push them further by forcing them to realize their limitations.  If you constantly beat a little kid in soccer, you have taken all the fun out of the game.  I learned this lesson the hard way when I was growing up and playing against my big brother, who was 5 years older than me, making him faster, stronger, more experienced, and generally a better soccer player than myself.  While playing with him didn’t ruin my soccer hopes, it was never too much fun.

The trick to playing soccer with someone a lot younger than you is to balance your victories with their victories.  Chances are, you will be a better player and the so the game is truly yours to control.  Let them score a few goals, and then you go ahead and score a few.  In the late part of the game, make it close and exciting, and perhaps give them the thrill of a final victory, or teach them a lesson by taking the final point!

What the previous example shines light on is the overall experience, whether or not you win.  If the game is close and competitive, everyone will have a good time and will enjoy.  Also, the youngster will understand the areas that they need to work on and will come to terms with the fact that they have areas in which they need to improve.

And this is the most crucial aspect of training: the learning.  In playing against a little kid, they will come to understand how they can improve and what they should focus on in training.  Obviously, much depends on the age and aspirations of the child, but at every age a player will want to improve their soccer game.

So when playing against little children, make sure to make it a fun battle.  Don’t let them completely dominate, or feel the need to beat them down yourself either.  Make it a true soccer game that will be fun, engaging, and teach them where they stand in the game of soccer!


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