Social Programs Can Build Community with Soccer

Urban Soccer Park
Social Programs Can Build Community with Soccer

People of all ages are looking for a place to belong, but sometimes it can be challenging to find ways to make new friends. That’s why one of the best ways to build a community is through sports. Soccer is a fun way to meet new people, develop teamwork, and build up other valuable skills like strong coordination and reflexes.

So if you’re looking to bring a fun activity to your YMCA or other social programs, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s why soccer is a great way to build a community.

How Soccer Builds Communities

Aside from the physical and mental health benefits, soccer is just plain fun! Which is why it’s one of the best sports for kids (and adults) to play if you want to foster a stronger sense of community. 

These are just three reasons that soccer has become a strong driver for bonding people together:

It Breaks Cultural Barriers

Soccer is beloved worldwide and can be a powerful force in driving community and culture. Instead of people focusing on each other’s differences, they’ll be working together as a team in pursuit of a common goal. 

Soccer facilitates inclusion, teaching the values of mutual respect, acceptance, and cooperation. And this goes beyond just the players. Soccer is a family sport that will draw crowds from the community to take part in cheering for their family members and friends. 

It Improves Mental Health

In the wake of global changes due to COVID-19, people are battling mental health struggles on a grander scale than in recent memory. With day-to-day pressures mounting, communities are in need of a fun way to release stress. Soccer helps our bodies release endorphins that relieve pain and stress, making us feel calmer after exercising. Being physically active is a proven way to improve our collective well-being, as it promotes our ability to overcome challenges and work together. 

It’s Affordable

Unlike many other sports, soccer can be affordable for any community. That’s because soccer parks can be designed out of a variety of different surfaces, whether it be grassy fields, concrete, or dirt. As long as the surface is flat, you can kick a ball across it. This versatility has made soccer the most popular sport in the world for communities, both big and small.

The investment is low compared to other community-driven sports like hockey, baseball, basketball, or swimming, as you need very little equipment to get started.

And this is especially true with our USP fields. We’ve intentionally made our products affordable for any community environment. USP fields don’t require any foundation pouring and can be sized to even the densest urban areas, significantly cutting costs and streamlining construction time. We want to make soccer more accessible for communities than ever before. People everywhere can benefit from the positive impacts that soccer brings to a person’s physical, mental and social well-being.

How to Foster a Sense Community

Once you’ve started a soccer club at your YMCA or other social programs, you’ll need to know how to keep people coming back. Here are two areas to target so that you can keep your community growing.

Build Loyalty

Many social programs put focus on competition. How many wins will we get? Trophies? Scholarships? But this club style leads people to view soccer more like a transactional relationship rather than a community-building activity. 

If you want people to be loyal to your club, you have to put a greater focus on the relational benefits of soccer. Every soccer club aims to teach people how to play, but it’s how you relate to these athletes that can make all the difference. You want to focus on their developing needs as people, not just their needs as athletes. Instilling positive values into those who join is what will keep people coming back, taking a club that’s transactional and making it transformational. 

Competition isn’t what breeds community—it’s our ability to relate to one another that binds us closer together.

Eliminating the Major Threat to Community Activities

One of the main reasons people can’t commit to daily or weekly activities is because of a lack of transportation. According to the Trust for Public Land, over 27 million children don’t have a quality public park within walking distance of their homes. Many families need to share a single vehicle, and when parents are busy working, their children don’t have a ride to practice.

This widespread scenario prevents kids from participating in community-driven activities and can lead to social programs needing to close down.

One incredibly valuable way that you can build and maintain a strong community is by shuttling kids to and from practice so that they can have a reliable way to attend your soccer club. This will give children a safe form of transportation and another avenue to bond with friends.

Conclusion

Soccer is one of the most fun and cost-effective ways to bring a community together. We can transform your space into a viable sports facility, and we’re here to make it happen no matter where you live.

If you’re looking for an activity to strengthen your community and build lasting friendships, let's talk and see how we can bring our Urban Soccer Park field to your city.

 

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