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Benjamin: Eat, Sleep, Breathe Soccer

Benjamin has been a soccer fan since he was a very young kid. He is very knowledgeable about soccer history, he always watches and keeps track of the championships, from French Ligue 1 to the FIFA World Cup, but most of all he loves to play and compete.

In this interview, Benjamin and his parents, Lucie and Julien tell us more about how he started soccer and what his practice and competition schedule looks like.

Lucie and Julien
We are a family of 4: Julien, Lucie, Benjamin (10), and Clément (7). We are from France, we lived in Paris before moving to California in 2014 for Julien’s work.

What are the first activities Benjamin did as a kid?

Lucie and Julien - Benjamin always played soccer, he started in preschool when he was 3 years old.

Did anyone in your family or among your friends practice soccer? Was it a sport you knew well?

His little brother Clément plays soccer, and Julien does too but just for fun to play with him. Soccer is a very popular sport in France, and Julien regularly watches games on TV.

When and where did Benjamin start soccer?

He started soccer in an afterschool program at his school when he was 3 years old. After that, he did a summer camp at Kidz Love Soccer. He then joined a club in recreational for 18 months and then started competitive soccer in the same club. He just joined a new club, Los Gatos United, because he feels the level is higher there. Plus in his old club, they played in the gold league but it was very hard so they ended up losing every game, his new team plays in the silver league and they play well so Benjamin hopes to win the league. I can see that he is already having so much fun there.

He never wants to do anything else, he did a little swimming but he doesn't like lessons even if he loves to swim. So just soccer soccer and soccer…

What are the things you like most about soccer for Benjamin?

Benjamin is passionate about soccer and is always very happy playing so of course we like him being happy. It’s also a team sport which can teach him how to interact with others. It’s also a competitive sport that could help him push himself and learn to lose.

Do you have things that you don’t like or that are challenging for you or Benjamin?

Benjamin has 3 training sessions a week. Driving him around all the time is a bit painful. And the games at random times over the weekends, quite often scheduled at the last minute, make it challenging to schedule some family activity.

It’s also hard as a parent to see your child cry when losing a game.

Now that he has been doing it for several years, do you have any advice for parents considering soccer for their kids?

All the kids don’t look for the same thing in soccer. Picking the proper club for each kid can be challenging. Some kids will want more challenges while some will be more into playing with friends and winning. It turns out that not all clubs have the same level and switching can be tricky. Kids in “lower” level clubs will have less efficient training and it will be hard for them to keep up with the better clubs and the longer you wait, the harder it is to switch.

Benjamin is a 10-year-old with 7 years of experience in soccer.

He is an avid supporter of Paris Saint Germain and a huge fan of Kylian Mbappé.

What do you like about soccer?

Benjamin - I like everything especially being with friends and trying to win together. I also really like the fact that you play outside on a big field.

What is your best soccer memory?

The time when I won with my team the MVLA Bay Area Fall Cup, a tournament in the Bay Area.

I also did a summer camp at the Paris Saint Germain Academy and I really liked visiting the Parc des Princes.

Another good memory was being a flag bearer for a San Jose Earthquakes - Los Angeles Football Club match at Levi’s stadium.

What are your next goals?

Becoming the best soccer player! And winning the World Cup with the French team!

How long do you see yourself practicing soccer?

My whole life.

Have you ever considered doing another sport?

No, I like many sports but I really prefer soccer, I really like being outdoors, running and kicking the ball.

Benjamin’s soccer practice in details
  • 3 practices a week for a total of 4.5 hours per week (1.5 hours per practice)
  • 1 game on the weekend on average, all year round.
~$3000/year for the practice + competition fees. ~$200 for the club uniform (every couple years), ~$100/year for the equipment (shoes, shin guards, etc.) so about $3,200 total per season.

Lucie’s favorites

Favorite kids stores

Family favorite places to eat

Favorite places to have fun