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Parents



      




The parent of a young soccer player is by far the most influential person in that player’s life. A coach will see a player for an average of 2-6 hours a week. A parent can see their child up to 168 hours a week. The role of the parent in a child’s soccer development should not be understated.



 
How a Parent Can Best Support their Child and Foster their Development:


Communication before the Game or Practice

  • “Do your best,” (not “Be the best”,) and “Have Fun.” (Nothing else.)


During the Game or Practice

  • Watch! (try to avoid reading or texting)
  • Officially assist in helping the team in some capacity
  • Respect the physical boundaries


Communication after the Game or Practice

“I love watching you play,” and “I am proud of you.” (Nothing else.)

 

At Home

  • Watch soccer with your child: try to pick a specific professional team and follow them
  • Play soccer with your child
  • Encourage your child to practice by themselves

 

Be Informed
Soccer is a long-term developmental sport, meaning the “peak” age for a player is around 25 years old. Be patient. If you trust the process, your child will improve – but it takes time. Disappointment and frustration are always part of any journey: but they are not the destination.


Be Supportive
Of the coach, the team, and the club. If there are any grievances they should always be settled in private.


 
Be a Good Example
Represent yourself, your child, the team and the club in the best possible way.




 
What a Parent Should Avoid:


1. Coaching their Child from the Sidelines

 Think of their Enjoyment. The soccer field should be considered a child’s playground where the child can be left alone to have fun.

Think of their Focus. When playing soccer, a child is concentrating, No one yells during a golfer’s backswing or on a tennis player’s serve. Soccer is the same.

Think of the Purpose & Effectiveness. Hearing more than one voice giving instruction is too much for a player to take on board. At best, the information coming from the parent is exactly the same as that coming from the coach, meaning it is unnecessary. At worst, the information coming from the parent is incorrect and/or contradictory to the coach.

Think of Respect. Think about the coach. How would a schoolteacher react if a parent was cheering during class, or a piano teacher if a parent was yelling during a lesson?



2. 
Discussing Other People’s Children in a Negative Way.

Under no circumstances is this ever acceptable. 

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