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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi. I have a player with pretty good foot skills and ball control, and great speed and aggression. There is one problem, she can't stay on her feet. She is 8. She also does cheer/tumbling and dance during different times of the year. I wonder if it is just a habit that she has gotten into. Falling is easy for her and she is up quick, but she can be by herself and fall. 

Any ideas on how to break her of this habit or to strengthen whatever is causing it?

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Posts: 6,429
Reply with quote  #2 
Children that age have a disproportionate amount of their weight in their heads. There is a reason figurines depict innocence with generally large eyes set in a large head - it is a childhood trait. Relative to the rest of our body mass our head is significantly greater at birth and the body - torso, arms and legs - spend the next ten years growing to achieve adult proportions.

Even as adults a large percentage of our weight is in our heads. This means all children are top heavy compared to adults. Like any other object with a higher center of gravity, they tip over easily.

Children are also refining their sense of balance at this age.

All this means falling over is to be expected; with some more so than others. Good news is by age 9 to 10 they pass out of this stage.

If you want to give her soccer exercises to help the process have her do a hundred rapid toe taps alternating feet with each tap. She can also practice juggling. Basically any activity involving movement and primarily standing on one foot.

Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."

Posts: 945
Reply with quote  #3 
I see this lots around 6 years old for the reasons AFB mentions.  As they grow it goes away.

Kids this age are normally very good at falling without getting hurt.

Encourage the player to get up quick when they are down.

They can help their team faster on their feet.

They can get kick or stepped on easily while on the ground.

Occasionally, there is a player who loves to stay down on the ground because they think it is fun.  So, I think this can be more problematic.   

With U6, I have occasionally laid down to check out the cloud they were looking at.   Then, we both got back up and talked about it being a cool cloud, but how important it is to stay on your feet so you don't get hurt.


Posts: 1,233
Reply with quote  #4 
Have you checked to see if her shoes fit well?

If she is good at soccer, cheer, tumbling, dance, balance and weight distribution doesn't seem like it would be the issue, even if it's typical for her age group.
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