For many of us soccer parents - practices, carpools, water bottles taking over counter space and smelly soccer gear has recently returned to our lives. The somewhat relaxing summer break has been replaced with a bit of welcomed routine. With the return of the soccer season, we find ourselves interacting with coaches, soccer club administration, other parents and our children’s teammates.
The proverbial “How was practice?” is a regular conversation starter for us with our soccer player and, if we are lucky, our child tells us anecdotes about their teammates and their coach and…if we are REALLY lucky, we hear their feelings about the season ahead.
Maybe there is excitement around your house!
My new coach is awesome, I like my teammates, I was voted Captain, I am sore but this is so worth it, I just beat my juggling record, I feel confident and strong, Practice was so much fun!
Or maybe there is some stress in the house!
The coach doesn’t like me. My teammate yelled at me. I am not good enough, I’m not playing the position I like. I miss my old team. I hurt my foot. Practice is so disorganized.
As parents, we want our children to compete in soccer because of the tremendous life lessons that can uniquely be learned through sport – both in times of excitement and stress.
Sometimes we need some guidance about how to best support our child with the soccer circumstances they are faced with.
The Soccer Parenting Association’s Soccer Parenting Value Statements are an great guide for parents. These can offer perspective, remind us to always reflect on the big picture and serve as a reference point for our soccer parent behaviors, decisions and interactions. The Value Statements are a useful guide and practical resource.
Soccer Parenting Value Statements:
Active Health: We acknowledge the importance of long-term athlete development and we understand that youth soccer participation supports and active lifestyle; the longer children continue to play sports, the more likely they are to be healthy and active adults.
Coach Integrity: We acknowledge the positive impact a coach can make on a child’s life, and we commit to holding coaches to a high standard of integrity, professionalism and compassion s our children feel optimistic about their potential, even in the face of defeat.
Life Lessons: We support our children’s youth soccer participation because we want them to develop grit, determination, and resiliency while learning the empathy, compassion and solidarity that will make the caring and committed adults.
Soccer Knowledge: We foster our children’s love of soccer by seeking to educate ourselves about the rules, nuances and intricacies of the game.
Love of the Game: We acknowledge that every child has varying levels of athletic potential and we seek to establish and environment where ALL children can play youth soccer because they LOVE TO PLAY, not because they want a college scholarship or a professional contract.
Balanced Outlook: We seek to use a clear perspective when making soccer choices for our children, ensuring the decisions are in the best interest of the child’s long-term happiness, contentment and positive attitude.
Keep these handy as the summer turns to fall and the season (and life lessons) gets well underway!
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