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Soccer+Ballet= OK?


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Our 8 year old son is really into ballet and soccer.

He played on a recreational soccer team last 2 seasons which only met once a week for 8 weeks.

I am contemplating signing him up for a more advanced soccer program that has two 1 hour practices a week and 1 game a week for 10 weeks since he loves it so much.

We received lots of compliments from the coaches and parents about how exceptionally good he plays.

I want to give him the opportunity to experience the advanced playing (which is less chaotic than the recreational too) but I have 2 reservations.

1. is the time I am going to have to give up of my already busy schedule to make this possible,

and most prominent is:

2. I am worried about risk of injury in soccer with recital time right around the corner.

He is still rather thin and seems so vulnerable. I have seen so many soccer injuries. I know the ballet world is certainly not immune from injuries, but I've seen more in the soccer realm at this age range. He already broke his wrist last year playing when he was hit by the ball :shhh:

I don't want to be frozen in fear but I also don't want to take a risk if it seems too high and really unnecessary. :grinning:

I'd appreciate your experiences, thoughts and feedback in this regard


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I'm the mom of a 15 year old varsity soccer goalkeeper(boy) and have a DD, so I don't know much about the general risk of soccer plus ballet, but I know a LOT about both subjects. Soccer, in the early years, is usually a practice 3 times a week/play once kind of thing. So, it will take up however much time that will require for practice/play/driving to and fro. In spring, its kind of a good mom sport, because you can be out and about, walking or enjoying the weather, while your kid practices. The injuries we saw in the under 10 set were mostly bumped heads and the occasional fall that knocked the wind out of people. The kids play hard and there is some physical contact. We didn't see broken bones or bad sprains in that age group or level of play. It was a lot of fun and good exercise. Now, when you get to the competitive (select) level where you have try-outs to be on the team and travel around the state and to other states to play, the time and the injuries both increase. (Usually age 12 and up). In that age group, it's comparable to having a dancer of that age and level. There were a lot of sprained ankles, pulled groins and the occasonal broken leg at that level. I would think that you are fine with both sports at this age.

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What does he want to do? If he wants to do the more advanced soccer, go for it! He's only 8 and at that age, he needs to be discovering where his interests lay. He should be able to do both for several years. :thumbsup:

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Balanchine used a move based on soccer-kicks in his Theme and Variations. (Seriously!)


Seems to me like there'd be other good reasons to continue soccer -- it'll develop core strength and stamina, the ability to change directions quickly, and also that important ability to "know where you are" which will really help when moving in large groups in dance class.

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And on the other hand ballet will be very good for soccer - in terms of agility, coordination, etc. My son is a high school soccer player (midfield) and we did not see any serious injuries prior to the high school levels - that is when the kids really get bigger and more aggressive. Frankly we see more of the agressive, take them out play at thie high school varsity level, rather than during club play, possibly because the club refs may be better! My advice is let him stick with both and when it comes time to make a choice, let it be his decision.

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Thanks everyone for relieving my doubts & fears with all your interesting comments!

I was really wanting him to have this opportunity and he is very enthusiastic about it, after all, his strongest desire for quite some time has been to play in the World Cup someday

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