I am not against soccer, but my son is 9 and still doesn't know what is right for him.

My husband completely supports him. But I believe so much soccer could influence the child's mentality and to reflect his results in school.


Many children who focus on a particular sport may do this many training sessions a week, or more. When I was competing for my county in swimming I used to train up to 8 or 10 times a week, and my kids train more than 5 times a week in gymnastics and swimming. They still score very highly academically, and I certainly got into a good university on my academic record.

The important thing is to balance their sport with academic learning - they are both good for you. As long as your child can get the academic results they need, taking part in a sport is going to keep them healthy.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 1 '16 at 20:00

The American Association of Pediatrics have a couple of reports which are worth reading on the subject of children's sports/training. None of them specifically cover academic achievement but look at sports from a health perspective.

The articles concede there is limited research on the subject of children's sport but some of the most relevant parts say.

Those who participate in a variety of sports and specialize only after reaching the age of puberty tend to be more consistent performers, have fewer injuries, and adhere to sports play longer than those who specialize early.

Without specific studies on academic performance, they do make some notes on psychosocial development.

Anecdotal reports suggest risks of “burnout” from physical and emotional stress, missed social and educational opportunities, and disruptions of family life.

They also include some guidelines on the amount of activity to help prevent overtraining/burnout:

  1. Keep workouts interesting, with age-appropriate games and training, to keep practice fun.

  2. Take time off from organized or structured sports participation 1 to 2 days per week to allow the body to rest or participate in other activities.

  3. Permit longer scheduled breaks from training and competition every 2 to 3 months while focusing on other activities and cross-training to prevent loss of skill or level of conditioning.

  4. Focus on wellness and teaching athletes to be in tune with their bodies for cues to slow down or alter their training methods.

US Youth Soccer offer some things to look out for such as:-

  • Slower times in distance sports such as running, cycling, and swimming
  • Deterioration in execution of sports plays or routines such as those performed in figure skating and gymnastics
  • Decreased ability to achieve training goals
  • Lack of motivation to practice
  • Getting tired easily
  • Irritability and unwillingness to cooperate with teammates

Unfortunately, the tendency when a parent or coach is confronted with signs of overtraining is to push the child harder. But if overtraining is the culprit, any increase in training will only worsen the situation.

TL;DR There isn't any evidence on academic achievement in relation to sports and it's really up to you to look out for the signs of when it's too much. Try to encourage your child to take up a range of physically different sports/activities and watch for signs of "burnout".


I think it's good for your kid to learn a strong work ethic and teamwork early on. Emphasize the importance of keeping his grade up and in addition to his soccer. A lot of my high achieving high school students also play sports.

Personally, I always wanted to play soccer as a kid about your son's age, but my mother forbade it and told me to focus on my studies. It's always been a big regret of mine.


It really depends how passionate your child is about their hobby.

My two daughters 6 and 12 LOVE dance. They both dance 3 hours after school everyday, and 5 hours on Saturday. It's a lot but it's what they want to do. They still manage to do all their school work have dinner and get to bed for 8:15.

If your son finds its too much he will let you know, my 6 year old had said to me before can I have a week off dance, so they will let you know if it becomes too much

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