Learning soccer as an adult is one hundred percent possible for anyone that wants to.

Is Learning Soccer As An Adult Possible? Where, Why & How To Start

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If you are interested in playing soccer but you played long ago as a kid or have never played at all in your life, you might be wondering if learning soccer as an adult is even possible?

As someone who learned to play as an adult and has watched many brand new players join in games over the years, I can say that it is one hundred percent possible for anyone to learn soccer at any age.

The first year or so might be a little slow and full of learning new skills, but if you love the game and keep playing (which I’m pretty sure you will, it’s seriously addicting) you’ll just keep getting better and better.

Is Learning Soccer As An Adult Possible?

Learning soccer as an adult is definitely possible and I highly recommend giving this wonderful game a chance.

If you’re fairly athletic, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick and be able to improve every time you play. If you’re kind of new to sports, especially those with your feet, it’ll take some time to get used to but if you just keep going and keep learning, you’ll see lots of improvement as well.

Soccer is such a beautiful game so if you're learning it as an adult, don't give up. You will improve and you'll have so much fun playing the worlds most loved sport.

Learning Soccer As An Adult: Why You Should Do It

Not only is soccer a super fun game to play, it is also a great way to get good cardio exercise and it is the most popular sport around the world. If you love to travel, experiencing a soccer game in other countries is an exciting way to be immersed in different cultures and have fun rooting for the local team.

When we first visited Mexico City, we went to a local game and fell in love with the sport. We’d never watched or played soccer before, but the excitement of a professional game was all we needed to get hooked.

Learning Soccer As An Adult: How To Do It


Practice is the most important thing to do to get better at soccer. And I don’t mean doing boring drills everyday by yourself until you are an expert at the game. Drills and specific exercises will definitely help you, but if you’re just interested in getting some exercise and having fun, you probably don’t want to spend hours a day doing soccer drills.

The most important thing for me to get better at soccer was continuing to play in pickup soccer games. The more I played, the more I learned and the more I improved. It wasn’t instant but I always had fun and I made progress with each game.

When you search for a pickup group, be sure to find one that allows beginner players. Most will specify if they are open to all skill levels or only advanced players.

Watching my favorite soccer team and favorite soccer players has also helped me improve because I watch what they do and try to imitate it. Again it’s not instant, but over time I learn new moves and skills just by trying to copy the pros.

Learning Soccer As An Adult: Where To Do It

In most cities around the United States, and even around the world, you can find adult soccer leagues to join. You do have to pay and commit to showing up each week, and games are typically more intense and competitive.

In my opinion, the best place for learning soccer as an adult is with pickup soccer games. They are generally open to all levels, many are free to play and although they can get competitive, most are just meant for having fun and getting exercise.

When you're learning soccer as an adult, the best place to practice is with a pickup soccer group.

You can also find pickup soccer games all around the world using sites like Meetup, Facebook Groups, Plei, Endalgo, Just Play and Celebreak. If you can’t find one on any of those, try asking around soccer shops or youth soccer groups to see if they know of any adult pickup options.

If you’re in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach areas, you can check here for a list of pickup soccer options around these cities.

It might be a little scary at first to show up and play a game you barely know with a group of people you don’t know, but don’t give up. Just keep showing up and having fun. As an introvert, it still terrifies me but I love the game so much that I’ve joined pickup games even while on vacation in other cities and other countries.

What Is Pickup Soccer?

If you’re not familiar with the term pickup soccer, it is just a friendly group of people playing soccer for fun. There are no coaches, there is no commitment, there are no set teams and there are minimal rules. You show up, everyone is split up into to teams and you play.

Sometimes there are no pinnies to help separate the teams or no real goals to score in, and other times it is much more organized with pinnies, goals and cones to outline the field. Every pickup game is different so just be sure to read the rules they post before showing up to play.

Some pickups do charge to play because of the costs of field rentals, organizing the group and so on. Others offer the games for free but they are generally taking on the costs themselves so if you play often or want to be helpful, I’m sure they’d appreciate a little help.

Tips About Learning Soccer As An Adult

⚽️ Start With Defense ~ When you are brand new to soccer, the best position to start with is defense. You’ll get plenty of practice getting comfortable with the ball and you won’t be taking up a prime offensive position (which can make others mad if you don’t know what you’re doing up there).

⚽️ It’s Good To Have Thick Skin ~ When you play soccer, you’re going to make mistakes. Even professionals make mistakes. Just forget about it and move on to the next play. Don’t worry about what anyone else says or thinks, just keep asking for the ball and doing your best.

⚽️ Don’t Be Afraid Of Advanced Players ~ When you’re a beginner, it can be intimidating playing with more advanced players. But don’t be afraid. The more you play with higher skilled players, the more you learn and the more you improve. If you only played with a bunch of other beginners, the game would be chaotic and you wouldn’t learn anything from them.

⚽️ Always Keep Your Cleats Down ~ One reason soccer players may not like playing with newbies, is that beginners tend to injure other players. Beginners are usually a bit slower at reacting so they sometimes come into a play late and kick, step on or injure in some other way. Do your best to time your fights for the ball and keep the bottom of your cleats down so you can’t cleat someone anywhere above the ankle.

⚽️ Pass The Ball ~ As a new player, one of the most important things to remember is to pass the ball. Don’t hold onto it long or you will get yelled at.

⚽️ Drink Lots Of Water ~ Soccer is an extremely exhausting sport especially when playing outside and in hot climates. It is good to start drinking lots of water in the 24 hours leading up to playing and having plenty to drink while you’re playing (I love having yeti or similar bottles while I play to keep the water cold).

⚽️ Watch Soccer ~ Start watching soccer, pick out your favorite players and watch every move they make during a game. The more you watch, the more you’ll automatically start imitating what you see. You can even pick out one new move to intentionally try each time you play.

⚽️ Don’t Try A New Move Or Skill Every Time You Get The Ball ~ When you do have a new move in mind that you want to perfect, don’t try it out every time you get the ball. Attempt it once maybe twice a game but don’t overdo it if you haven’t learned how to do it perfectly yet.

Should I Play With Men Or Coed Players If I’m Female And New To Soccer?

I grew up with older brothers so I may think a little differently, but I prefer playing with men, even back when I was a brand new soccer player. I think it has made me a stronger and better soccer player and I’ve had less injuries while playing with men than the times I’ve played with just women.

The only downside I’ve ever run into while playing with men, is that there are some out there that just don’t like playing sports with women so they refuse to pass to them. You just have to ignore these kinds of players and if you get the chance to play defense against them, steal the ball from them!

Just remember that when you play soccer in an adult league or pickup group that everyone is learning and improving so there is no need to get embarrassed or feel like you’re not good enough. Just keep asking for the ball, do the best you can and have fun!

Do I Need Cleats Or Shin Guards To Play Soccer?

Cleats will make things a lot easier than regular sneakers for multiple reasons like gripping the ground or the way the ball comes off of the cleats compared to bulky sneakers. But cleats may not be allowed at some locations like turf fields, so be sure to find out before buying yourself some new boots.

With cleats or turf shoes, it is really important to get shoes that fit correctly for soccer. You don’t want them to be too big or else your feet will slide around and jam into the shoes as you play, and you don’t want something that is too tight or restricting because you’ll get blisters and sore feet.

I prefer leather shoes over synthetic ones because it molds better to my feet and stretches with the movement of my feet rather than restricting the movement.

Cleats will help you play soccer better than with regular sneakers. Shin guards are up to you but I prefer to play without them.

Shin guards depend on your preferences and whether or not you are playing in a league or just pickup. Leagues will always require shin guards but pickup games typically will not. I can’t stand shin guards so I do not wear them but I have also gotten my fair share of bruised shins.

Wrap Up: Learning Soccer As An Adult

The bottom line is, if you’re interested in learning soccer as an adult, do it and don’t be afraid. I’ve watched lots of new players who barely even knew how to kick a ball in the beginning, grow and become better players just by continuing to play in pickup games. If they can do it, you can too!