Parents who have children in youth soccer programs sometimes get a bad rap; there is a pervasive stereotype that soccer moms and dads are overzealous and take the game too seriously. While that's just a stereotype, it is important for soccer parents to strike a delicate balance in their support of their kids' youth soccer teams. Below are a few ways to accomplish this goal.
3 Ways to Be a Better Parent to a Young Athlete
1. Remember: It's Just a Game
Sure, you may really want to see your kid have a triumphant victory, but at the end of the day, youth soccer is a game, and that means it should first and foremost be fun for your kids. Understand that you're a spectator and it's your child who is playing the game. Calling out plays or living out your own sports dreams through your child isn't fair. It's their experience; let them have it.
2. Talk With Them About What They're Learning
Youth soccer will teach a child the essentials of the sport, but what they ultimately learn will be so much more than that. They are discovering and developing crucial skills at every practice: finding their own strengths and weaknesses, learning to work as a team, and problem-solving both individually and as a group. Talk to them about these lessons. Ask them what transpired at practice that day or during the game. Be involved and interested in the process and the larger lessons attained.
3. Don't Dissect the Game Afterwards
If your child made a misstep during the game, don't analyze it with them afterward. Kids are smart and aware; they know all too well when they made a bad play. Not only are they conscious of it, but their coaches and teammates likely brought it to their attention as well. Dissecting their mistakes sucks the fun out of the game and puts pressure on them to try to be perfect. Let your child have their mistakes and learn from them, but don't rake them over the coals about it.
By bearing these points in mind, you will be a supportive soccer parent. Beachside Soccer Club in Norwalk, CT, offers youth soccer programs led by experienced coaches. They provide a fun, educational, and beneficial experience for soccer enthusiasts aged five to 19. To enroll your child, call them today at (203) 852-6969 or visit them online. You can also connect on Facebook or Twitter.