Participation in youth sports builds character, physical awareness, and friendships. Many coaches in the United States are taking this to the next level by flying their teams around the world to play soccer. Whether attending an international camp or tournament, youth athletes can certainly grow from international soccer tours. The following are just some of the benefits of this unique type of travel.
- Players gain cultural awareness.
Leaving your own country and immersing yourself in another is a mind-opening experience. This is especially true for kids and teenagers. When your players experience another culture and the sports culture within that place they will come home with a larger world view.
- Teams learn different styles of play.
If you choose to take your players to an international tournament or camp, they will learn skills that are outside of the American style of play. Once they return home, they may demonstrate well-rounded soccer knowledge, surprising other teams with new strategy.
- Young people will become more self-aware and reliant.
Travel will instill a new sense of independence in anyone. For youth athletes, they will become more aware of themselves and their abilities. This is amplified if the country where you travel speaks an entirely different language.
- Travel encourages team bonding.
Nothing brings people together quite like travel. Athletes venturing together will bond in friendship even more than before. And they will hopefully bring this sense of community home with them, holding a renewed pride in the team and the sport.
- Young athletes can see their heroes play.
A survey by Sports Travel Magazine found that 27% of all trips taken in 2012 were to attend some sort of sporting event. This number increases to 90% when considering trips involving some sort of sporting activity. And when the sport involves soccer, there is a chance that your team will get to see their favorite players on the field. Nothing can beat that.
By taking your players on international soccer tours or experiences, you will help them grow in a whole new way. Sports travel can make these athletes more independent and skilled. This is something that can often only be achieved by pushing the boundaries of their comfort zones.