8 Effective Youth Organizations That Use Soccer In Their Work

In the modern era, it can be too easy for kids to spend all of their free time inside, especially those who live in an urban area. But getting fresh air and physical exercise is important for childhood development. That's why these eight organizations use soccer to keep kids active, teach them teamwork, and help them form healthy habits early in life. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Children's Organizations That Offer Soccer

Organization Location Mission
Soccer In The Streets Atlanta, GA Develop young leaders so they can lead rich lives and cultivate healthy communities through sports-based youth development
South Bronx United Bronx, NY Help youth build character, teamwork, and leadership so that they can succeed in high school, college, careers, their community, and beyond
The Sanneh Foundation St. Paul, MN Empower youth by supporting and promoting educational attainment through in-school and after-school support, improve lives by providing programs that strengthen physical health and social and emotional development, and unite communities by advancing diversity, equity, and community well-being
US Club Soccer Charleston, SC Foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club
R.O.C.K. San Francisco, CA Nurture the healthy development of children by listening attentively to their needs and by providing opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access
USA Cup Blaine, MN Host soccer teams from around the globe to provide a truly international tournament that will leave players, coaches, and teams with memories that will last a lifetime
Space Coast United Melbourne, FL Provide high-quality soccer instruction to children in a safe and fun environment
Flipany Ft. Lauderdale, FL Educate and empower youth and adults through nutrition and physical activity programs while influencing policy changes for healthier communities

Benefits Of Playing Soccer

  • Increases cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity
  • Promotes teamwork and cooperation
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Builds endurance & strength
  • Increases self-discipline and concentration
  • Requires little equipment, making it easy to play in a yard or park
  • Rules are relatively easy to learn

5 Tips For Young Soccer Players

  1. Make sure to stay hydrated
  2. Always warm up muscles & joints before playing
  3. Wear appropriate protective equipment
  4. Don't overexert yourself
  5. Remember to have fun

Soccer and Life Skills

In Depth

Keeping youth healthy and productive is a central focus to many youth organizations, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is through sports. Playing soccer is a way to build confidence, foster communication, and provide a sense of community. Here, in no particular order, are eight organizations that improve the lives of children by teaching them the beautiful game.

#1 on the list is Soccer In The Streets, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 in Atlanta, Georgia. It uses soccer as a way to engage and inspire children. By teaching the sport, it also provides kids with other important life lessons, like teamwork and personal responsibility. Soccer In The Streets gets kids physically active, and fosters cooperation and healthy relationships between members of diverse groups. Weekly coaching sessions ensure a positive presence is maintained in communities.

The organization's StationSoccer initiative is responsible for building soccer fields and community classrooms in and around transit hubs, to ensure easy accessibility. It raises money through games, like its Black Tie Soccer Game, and uses 92% of funds toward development and programs for area youth. To get involved and help further their mission, you can sign up to play in one of their fundraising games, sponsor a player, or become a volunteer.

To get involved and help further their mission, you can sign up to play in one of their fundraising games, sponsor a player, or become a volunteer.

In the #2 spot is South Bronx United, founded in 2009 from the idea that community youth needed an outlet for their energy and a safe space to spend time. This organization operates in response to the needs of the community, the challenges faced by local children, and the connection between soccer and mentoring. Specifically aimed at helping at-risk and immigrant youth, it teaches soccer to children in an effort to build character, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Soccer academies, youth leagues, recreational programs, and summer camps are all offered by South Bronx United. It spends 83% of the money raised directly on programs and there are many ways to help. Those interested in showing their support can volunteer, attend an event, sponsor a team, or purchase merchandise.

Coming in at #3 is The Sanneh Foundation. Its mission is to support and empower youth through programs that strengthen health and development. Free for participants, the soccer camps take place in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other urban areas of Minnesota. In addition to soccer skills, kids learn social, emotional, and community well-being.

In addition to soccer skills, kids learn social, emotional, and community well-being.

The Sanneh Foundation also provides football, baseball, and basketball camps. Each week, it provides 85 hours of programming, working to promote an atmosphere of community through the excitement of sports. It also operates the Conway Community Center, ensuring a safe space is available to provide diverse and free youth programs. Volunteers and sponsors are always needed, and people interested in becoming an advocate can use social media to promote the organization's work.

Next, at #4, is US Club Soccer, a nationwide organization that focuses on providing high-quality training to children. It believes that clubs play an important role in the growth of American soccer. This organization intends to be an integral part of professional teams by training the next generation of athletes. By catering to a wide range of ages, it hopes to foster lifelong relationships between players and the game.

US Club Soccer has many opportunities for players, including eight types of leagues. They also have a program called Players First, a holistic soccer club experience for parents and their children. There are membership services staff across the country designated to help players sign up for the program that is best for them. You can help this group by sharing the work they do with anyone that can benefit from it.

You can help this group by sharing the work they do with anyone that can benefit from it.

In the #5 spot is R.O.C.K., operating in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley. For twenty years it has been catering to the many children in the area who are struggling with social and economic challenges. R.O.C.K. provides support programs to the area's youth, including non-competitive soccer skill building. It believes that playing sports is an important part of being a kid, and offers active development programs like skill drills and overnight camps.

Identifying the needs of at-risk children, this organization also offers academic support and learning enrichment. After-school programs and service-learning opportunities are available, and it maintains a presence within schools to cultivate positive relationships with local kids. If you would like to help R.O.C.K. and the youth they serve, there are numerous volunteer opportunities, from teaching soccer classes to helping at fundraising events. Their website accepts donations directly and includes details on what your money will provide.

#6 is USA Cup, which has grown from its founding in 1985 to become one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the world. All the games are played at the National Sports Center, a 660-acre facility in Minnesota. Teams from dozens of countries come together for an elite competition with Olympic-style ceremonies. The organization also plans additional activities for the players while they are visiting for the tournament, including trips to amusement and water parks.

Teams from dozens of countries come together for an elite competition with Olympic-style ceremonies.

There are typically over 1,000 teams, from countries all over the world, that compete in the USA Cup each year. With an event of this size, there are a myriad of volunteer opportunities for anyone interested. These include staffing off-site activities, handing out team gift bags, greeting players at the airport, and presenting medals during the awards ceremony.

Coming in at #7 is Space Coast United, a charitable sports organization for kids ages three and up. It introduces children to new skills, while also building confidence, teaching respect, and encouraging family involvement. Playing soccer enables youth to improve their fitness and make friends in a safe and fun environment. There are four field locations, two in Melbourne, Florida, and two in Rockledge.

Space Coast United has competitive, recreational, and developmental programs, ensuring children of every skill level have an opportunity to play. It also operates an academy for goalkeepers, targeted to the players who are interested in becoming competitive keepers. If you'd like to help, you can volunteer to be a TOPS Buddy and work one-on-one with a child in the program. Other ways to support the organization include coaching and helping set up for events.

Other ways to support the organization include coaching and helping set up for events.

#8 is Flipany, a not-for-profit in Florida that provides a program to combat obesity and foster character development. It uses a curriculum developed by the US Soccer Foundation and meets with kids three times per week for lessons. Its program improves body mass index scores, aerobic capacity, outlook for the future, and effort in school for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Flipany's mission is to foster healthy lives via physical activities, nutrition education, and wellness initiatives. Through outreach and events, it helps fight childhood obesity and hunger. It offers biking programs, nutrition and cooking education, and free meals. Anyone interested in helping their cause can sign-up for one of their many volunteer opportunities, including office help, nutrition, marketing, and special events.