"A SOCCER PARENTS GUIDE - RAISING YOUNG, HEALTHY SOCCER PLAYERS"
The most supportive soccer parents I have been around have always contributed to the best teams I have coached. I have always enjoyed my coaching with these teams. I have also seen some adults tear teams apart because they could not behave. Get behind the team and support the players.
- Let the kids play.
- Kids will make mistakes, don't sweat the small stuff.
- Praise them if they do something well.
- Let them have fun.
- Let the coach be responsible for motivating the players.
- Support them unconditionally and don't withdraw your love if they don't play well...not life or death just youth soccer.
I remember my first soccer game! I just stood there and watched...wondering what do I do? No soccer parent yelled, screamed and told me to hustle. I eventually got the hang of it and it became my favorite game.
Every kid goes though a learning curve as they get used to the game if they are new soccer. Even if you have a more experienced player the parent should still support them and make sure they are enjoying the game.
RULES OF THE GAME
As parents if you have never played soccer take the confusion out of soccer study the rules of the game and the soccer skills that go along with the game, or even better yet go to a higher level soccer game so you can see the players with good skills and tactical understanding play the game.
Soccer coaches are not around your young players 24/7 like you are as a parent, so there is only so much a coach can do with 1-2 practices a week.
When the player is having issues like...
- Behavior problems.
- Medication issues.
- Bad grades.
Letting the coach know there is an issue is important so the coach can help. If there is no communication it makes it very difficult for the coach to figure it out. If I know there is an issue I can help that young player.
YOUR KIDS SOCCER EXPERIENCE
A parent can help a coach by
- Helping the players get where they need to be on time.
- Putting the kids to bed at a decent hour so they are fresh.
- Serving good foods so the players and making sure the kids are drinking water prior to playing especially if they are in a hot climate.
This stability will go along way to helping the young player perform on the weekends.
YOUR KIDS TEAM MATES
Parents talking about other kids and players on the team is a cancer and only leads to issues.
I like to follow these rules...
- Your child's team mates are not the enemy when they are playing better than your young player, this is a chance for your young player to learn.
- Support the team and all the kids in the team.
- Sign up to do something for the team - get involved.
- If your player is having an issue set up time to talk with the coach away from other parents and players.
- Don't bring up other players during the talk, that is not your business to talk about other kids.
- Don't coach from the sideline - I know easier said than done.
I have seen some teams get destroyed by soccer parents, on the other hand I have seen some youth teams thrive because of a good parent group. Try and be part of the solution!