I’ve wondered if playing soccer is helping me to grow taller. Being taller may not be an advantage for every position, but many people want to grow taller, so I did some research to find out if playing soccer can help.
Playing soccer can help stimulate growth of your lower body, making you taller than you would have grown without playing soccer. Evasive movements and running in soccer will stretch and grow the muscles around your thighs, knees, and calves. Which leads to a taller lower body frame, increasing your height.
There does come a point where soccer won’t have much of an impact on height, and there are limitations. If you’re wondering how specifically this works, and how you can use soccer to your advantage to grow taller, keep reading.
Why Playing Soccer Can Make You Taller
The two things that contribute to getting taller by playing soccer, are running and stretching. Soccer involves a lot of running up and down the field and to avoid opponents. These quick movements, bursts of speed, and large amounts of running are what helps you to grow taller.
When you run a lot, the muscles in your legs get stretched and grow. Mainly the growth of your thighs and calf muscles will contribute to a taller lower body and increased overall height.
I want to point out that the height you gain from playing soccer may only be around an inch or less. Don’t assume that playing soccer for years will give you continuous growth. In fact, after about age 20, most people stop growing, and the effect of increased height from larger leg muscles only goes so far.
Don’t let your height discourage you though. Here’s a video showing the best soccer players of every height.
How To Use Soccer To Get Taller
Using soccer to increase your height can work for almost anyone, but will work better for players under 20 years old. As you get older, you tend to actually shrink a little. But playing soccer can still help to lengthen your lower body.
Evasive maneuvers and lots of running is how soccer players can increase their height. The sudden sideways movements can help stretch your legs and muscles. Running for long stretches will help build your muscles in your lower body.
Basically, just play soccer regularly if your goal is to use soccer to grow taller. Pick positions that involve a lot of running and avoiding the opponents.
You won’t see huge growths in height once you’ve stopped growing naturally, around age 20, no matter how much soccer you play. Although there are benefits to height, there are also drawbacks.
Before we talk about the benefits and drawbacks of height in soccer, here’s a video explaining how to deal with players that are taller than you. Hopefully you’ll see that your height doesn’t need to limit you.
Benefits Of Height In Soccer
Being tall in soccer has it’s advantages. Some positions will benefits from a taller player more than others. For example, having a taller goal keeper means they will be able to cover more of the net to prevent a goal. Here’s some of the advantages of height in soccer.
- Kicking Momentum – Players with longer legs will generally be able to kick the ball harder and farther
- Air Ball – Taller players will have an easier time getting the ball out of the air and to the ground in their possession
- Distance Coverage – Longer legs will let you cover more ground per stride
- Fluent Dribble – Taller players will typically need less touches on the ball to move down the field than shorter players would need
Take these benefits for what they are, but also keep in mind that the skill level of a player is a much greater factor than player height will ever be.
Drawbacks Of Height In Soccer
Being tall may seem like a great advantage, but there are some very real drawbacks that shorter players don’t have. First, I would like to point out the benefit of distance coverage is a double edged sword. Sure, a taller player can cover more ground, but a shorter player will have better explosive movements at the start of a maneuver.
That means that shorter, wider, players have an advantage when it comes to getting around opponents and evasive maneuvers. Shorter players have a lower center of gravity and change directions a lot easier.
Here’s a great video that explains height differences in sports, and the effect height can have on players.
That video was a bit sciencey, but the fact is that height may help in some areas of soccer, but does not determine how good you are as a player.
Best Soccer Positions For Short Or Tall Players
Generally, taller soccer players will be better on defense near the goal. This is because taller players will be able to kick the ball with more force. Which is very helpful for getting the ball away from your teams goal. Goalies also benefit from height as they can cover more of the net easier.
Shorter players tend to do better near mid-field or on the attack. Since they can out-maneuver and make quicker movements to the side, they can move the ball around players more easily than a taller person would.
Here are some common questions I saw about this topic.
Can Soccer Help You Lose Weight?
Playing soccer can help you lose weight over time if you have a proper diet. Any form of exercise will burn calories and can help you lose weight, but soccer involves a lot of running which can burn a significant amount of calories throughout a 90 minute soccer match.
You rarely ever see an overweight professional soccer player. In fact, I can’t think of one professional soccer player that isn’t physically fit. Playing soccer will get you into shape, no doubt about it. The most important thing is to stick with it and have proper diet.
Here’s a good video about soccer fitness to give you some more insight.
Does Soccer Make You Short?
Playing soccer will not make you short. In fact, playing soccer can help stretch and grow your leg muscles resulting in a taller lower body and a slight increase in height overall. Overtime however, most people will shrink no matter how much soccer they play, just a side of effect of ageing.