Get Inspired: How to get into football

Cuthbert & Bright's easy drills to improve your skills
Fast Answers
Why get into football?Simple yet endlessly exciting and dramatic, it's the most popular sport in the world for a very good reason!
Who is it for?Whatever your age, ability or fitness level, there is a type of football suitable for you.
Is there a cheap option?All you really need to play the beautiful game is a football. Kick around on your own or with friends.
What if I want a proper workout?Joining a weekly five or 11-a-side game increases your fitness and improves your game. Plus it's a good way to see your mates.
Can I take it to another level?There are leagues galore and it's very competitive, with professional clubs recruiting players as young as seven.
Is there a disability option?National Associations across Britain are increasingly pro-active in providing disability football options.
Is there a family option?Family Fun Days run throughout the year to encourage families to take part in football-related activities.
So how do I take part? Go to our club finder page to get into football near you.

The beautiful game. The national game. The world game.

Football is a phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe live and breathe it, playing it with their friends and watching their heroes.

But don't be content to just watch it. Lace up your boots and get your foot on the ball to take part in perhaps the most easily accessible sport there is.

An all-round workout

Grassroots football is often where great players come from

Football gives you an all-round workout. Players run, kick, dodge, sprint and jump, and constantly twisting and turning your body increases endurance, promotes agility and develops physical co-ordination.

Football also promotes teamwork on and off the pitch, as many teams socialise together.

Women's football

FA People's Cup: Romance FC - the female five-a-side football collective

The country is in World Cup fever as the competition takes place between June and July 2019. With 1.4 million women and girls playing football, there's no doubt that it's the nation's most popular female-team participation sport.

Around the UK there are schemes designed to help girls get into football - from grassroots to the professional game - as well as routes into coaching.

Each Football Association across the country has information specifically to encourage women to play so get contacting in Scotlandexternal-link, Walesexternal-link, Northern Irelandexternal-link and England.external-link

Get Inspired: Faye White on football

Grassroots

Gareth Southgate on Football Foundation community schemes

Jamie Vardy's remarkable rise from non-league football to Premier League winner with Leicester City has ensured that grassroots football will remain a buzzword for years to come.

To find a local club near you, check out your national body's club finders here: Englandexternal-link, Scotlandexternal-link, Walesexternal-link, Northern Irelandexternal-link. There is also a Creating Chancesexternal-link scheme in England, and Football Fun Daysexternal-link in Wales.

What else?

How to be freestyle football world champ
  • If you don't fancy getting muddy, you could try five-a-side. Played on a smaller pitch, it's a good way to make sure you get on the ball more often - and run less! Click hereexternal-link to find out where you can play in England.
  • Futsal is similar to five-a-side, only played with a smaller, heavier ball. It places greater emphasis on individual skill and ball control, and is popular in both Brazil and Mediterranean Europe.
  • Struggle to get the joints moving? Walking Football could be the answer. Check it out hereexternal-link and here.external-link
  • If you're more interested in stepovers than Sunday league, then freestyle could be for you. The video above will show you what's possible at the very top, but to get started click hereexternal-link.
  • If you're worried about your weight - no problem! Sign up for the Man v Fat external-linkprogram to help you shed those pounds and make some mates at the same time.
Overweight men in Oldbury have turned to football to help lose weight

Junior football

Roy Keane gives advice to school children

Most people catch the football bug when they are young, and remain hooked for life.

Getting started early means that your football skills will come more naturally and be deeply embedded over the years.

In Wales, find out more about the Mini Football scheme.external-link In Scotland there are schemes for both primary-aged school childrenexternal-link and secondary.external-link Find out about football camps and more in Northern Ireland,external-link and the FA Skills scheme in England.external-link

Alex Scott meets some aspiring young footballers

Disability football

BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for the North West Sean Bailey

Disability football is well served across Britain, with a host of different opportunities for different groups of people.

The English FA's Disability Football sectionexternal-link has plenty of ideas for playing or coaching. The Wales Football Trustexternal-link have a dedicated disability co-ordinator to deliver a fully inclusive programme.

Likewise, the Scottishexternal-link and Northern Ireland Football Associationsexternal-link aim to ensure that disabled people have the chance to take part fully and fulfil their potential.

Coaching and volunteering

North East BBC Unsung Hero Award winner Richard Bailey from South Shields Football Club

Whether you have played in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, coaching opportunities are available through the Football Associations in Northern Irelandexternal-link, Englandexternal-link, Scotlandexternal-link and Wales.external-link

Use your skills to help a local club - find out about volunteering opportunities in Scotlandexternal-link, Walesexternal-link, Englandexternal-link and Northern Ireland.external-linkJoin In UKexternal-link can also help you find a club that needs your hands on attention.

FA People's Cup: Deaf Rhinos - the deaf team from Manchester

What next?

1. Find your nearest club in Englandexternal-link, Scotlandexternal-link, Walesexternal-link or Northern Ireland.external-link

2. Share your storyexternal-link and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try football? Or maybe you are an expert player already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,external-link visiting us on Facebookexternal-link or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.