Does Football Make You Taller?

It is easy to recognize some football players who have impressive heights. For instance, Kristof van Hout, a Belgian professional goalkeeper, is 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 meters), Ivorian footballer Lacina Traoré is 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters), and Norwegian defender Even Iversen is also 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters). This might make us wonder whether playing football might improve our height. However, what is the truth inside? Let’s find out!

First, learn about the average height of footballers

5 feet 7 inches (1.73 meters) to 5 feet 8 inches (1.74 meters) is the mean height of a male football player. Meanwhile, female footballers in a team have an average height of 5 feet 7 inches (1.73 meters). However, it can be different based on various positions. For example, goalkeepers tend to be tall, while forwards might be short or more agile.

Below are the average heights for some positions.

  • Forward’s height is between 5 feet 7 inches (1.73 meters) and 5 feet 9 inches (1.74 meters).
  • Midfielder’s height is between 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 meters) and 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 meters).
  • The defender’s height is between 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 meters) and 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters).
  • Goalkeeper’s height is between 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters) and 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 meters).
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Myth vs. reality: Does football make you taller?

When we see that many football players are indeed tall, it seems that playing this sport might improve our height.

In reality, genetics mainly affect our height. Our DNA has the final say in how tall we will stand, and it is believed that 60 to 80 percent of a person’s height is inherited from their parents. Simply speaking, no amount of football might change our genetic code.

Aside from genetics, paying attention to nutrition and overall health during the growing years plays a vital role. If your kid is playing football, they are likely to follow a balanced diet and exercise regime that impacts their overall development. But again, this sport alone does not especially make them taller. Also, some studies have pointed out that children who engage in sports or are physically active might grow as tall as their genetics allow.

Regarding bone health, especially during the adolescent years, a consistent part of football training might strengthen bones. However, remember that it cannot elongate them beyond your genetic predisposition.

Generally speaking, football might contribute to a better posture, making you look taller. But the key word here is “look,” or “appear,” not grow. In fact, good posture can make a difference in how tall you look, but it does not add inches to your stature.

Should I keep practicing football when it does not make me taller?

The truth is that engaging in sports, like football, might not affect your height, but it does give other benefits that might contribute to your vertical stature.

Let’s come to the point!

Intense physical activity, like the kind you endure in football, might put stress on your bones. This is not a bad thing because stress in this case can be a stimulant for growth, especially in young athletes. Growth plates in their bones react to the challenges they come across, but that does not mean playing football will add extra inches to the statute directly or significantly.

A training session often consists of a focus on strength and conditioning. So, practicing a workout is geared toward making you an agile and powerful player, not a taller one. For instance, when you perform squats or deadlifts, you put pressure on your lower body, which is believed to trigger bone growth. However, these theories are based more on anecdotal evidence than specific studies.

That said, rigorous training does guarantee that the body is healthy and strong enough to reach the height determined by DNA, yet not change genetic potential. In other words, the healthy lifestyle of an active football player might help them reach their potential height, but is not the defining factor. Also, the benefits of playing football serve you well, regardless of how tall you stand on the field.

Pros and cons of being high in football

Advantages

It is easy to notice that a tall football player gets more benefits than others. For instance, a taller goalkeeper means that they can cover more of the net to prevent a goal from the opponent. Let’s check out further advantages of height in this sport.

  • Players with longer legs might kick the ball harder and farther.
  • They might have an easier time getting the ball to the ground and out of the air in their possession.
  • Those with longer legs might let you cover more ground per stride.
  • They need fewer touches on the ball to move down the field than shorter players.

Disadvantages

Of course, some real drawbacks being tall cannot do well. One typical example is that a taller football player might cover more ground, but a shorter one can have better explosive movements at the beginning of a maneuver. That means wider and shorter players can have an advantage regarding getting around opponents and tricky moves.

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What is the best age to start playing football?

While some claim that children can play football at 5, others reckon that we should not introduce this sport until the age of 14. So, where is the real answer?

Kids can indeed start playing football younger than you might think. But remember that all of them develop at various rates and skills might also be developed quicker when they are doing something they love.

For instance, a two-year-old kid is able to kick a ball around. Although they cannot understand team football, they might know how to kick a ball back and forth to each other. This is something you can do with them at home.

Playing football as part of a team needs greater communication and coordination skills. Many kids between 3 and 5 might start developing these skills, and most 5-year-old children can play shorter games of football.

Overall, there is no “ideal” age for kids to play football because the answer is how they start after they are 3. Naturally, some might be more attracted to football and express their interest in sports at an earlier age. This could be common in families with all football fans.

Generally speaking,

Playing football does not increase your height directly. What is important in practicing this sport is honing the skills and strategies that make you become a great player. After all, these elevate your game as well as your confidence. Keep playing it with your passion and remember to play it safe, especially when you are young and growing. Time to lace up your cleats and get onto the field!

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