Since I’ve retired from flying, though I still occasionally take a plane up for fun, I have started playing soccer with some of my friends. The first thing I want to say is that “yes” you can play soccer at just about any age, you just need to take a few extra precautions.

I am the first to admit that I am not as flexible as I was when I was younger, and it does take me a little longer to recover. I have found that drinking plenty of water and sticking with a low fat diet helps keep my energy levels up, and even my doctor is impressed with the recent improvements in my health. Taking the time to stretch before and after soccer practice is something else I highly recommend, regardless of your age. Trust me your muscles will thank you especially after a particularly long practice or exhausting match.

Wearing the right protective gear is always recommended no matter your age when you are playing soccer. It is especially important for me since I’m older and thanks to the natural aging process it takes me a little longer to heal. I also want to keep playing for as long as I can, which is why I always wear the following gear.

 

Since I am a guy I never go out onto the field without wearing a protective cup. It’s amazing how truly painful a ball hitting your groin can actually be. A protective cup is an inexpensive piece of gear that you will be glad you are wearing at least once every practice or match. Some guys also wear mouthguards, but I’ll leave that up to your discretion. I don’t, but then again we are mainly playing for fun and not really competing against each other so hits to the mouth are extremely rare.

One piece of equipment that every soccer player should wear are shinguards. Kicks and ball hits to your shins are common, and if there aren’t any you are probably not playing the game right. Even us “old timers” can put plenty of force behind our kicks and this can cause severe injuries to a player’s shins. There are two types of shin guards and the right one for you usually depends on personal preference. My shin guards are designed to slip into sleeves, which makes them really easy to put on and take off. Some of my buddies wear the kind that fasten around their legs with a Velcro strap. Both types are perfectly capable of providing you with the protection you need whether you are playing a match or practicing with teammates.

With the right gear you can play soccer at any age, and I can’t wait to update you after we play our first match.

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