Sports is important to stay healthy and develop physically. Speaking from experience, I follow a few ideas that have helped myself, our children and my peers. These ideas are: support your child, support the coach and support the referee, if applicable. Remember, most coaches are volunteering their personal time. As parents, we want our children to succeed, specially in sports, and we want the child to be challenged, learn to compete and most importantly, to win. Winning shows the child their reward for their hard work. If the team loses a game, its okay, as long as they try their best. Keep your emotions in check to avoid undesirable situations/comments.
Supporting you child in soccer is key by reenforcing positive comments, and keep the child motivated. Hence: be aware of the child expectations and limitations. Focus on the challenges the child is facing in the practices or game, and practice them at home or at the park. Explain to the child, what he/she is doing, and what he/she should be doing, and reward the child for trying his/her best. Explain to the child, he/she plays on a team, not by himself/herself, and encourage good plays by his/her teammates. Show up ON time to soccer practices and games with proper attire, kleets, shinguard’s, uniforms, and hydration. Keep track of the snack schedule, make arrangement with other parents if you will be out of town.
The coach carries the team’s moral, development and motivation. Remember, the coach is also a parent, and is volunteering his personal time to coach you child and the team. The coach is a person and is not perfect. The coach will direct the practices and games. If you have a inquiry or disagreement with the coach’s ideas or verbiage, retain your suggestions/inquiries from interrupting the coach directions during practices and games. Make a mental note of what you disagreed on, and express your thoughts after practices or games. Remember, the coach is training the team at a park, it is not baby sitting. Remain present at practices and games.
The referee is most likely a young volunteer as well. The authority in soccer is the referee. Hence: refrain from verbally expressing your suggestions/inquiries by not interrupting the referee directions/decisions during games. Staying humble, most of us do not really know the guideline and regulations of the soccer. Take a few minutes and research FIFA guidelines, stay informed and educate your child and peers.
Keep an open mind, of your child’s soccer coach, teammates, and parents. Implement support your child, coach & referee, integrate your own ideas that are relevant and optimistic. Most importantly, your coach, the parents, the referee’s and park personal are all collaborating together for a unified goal, for your child to learn soccer and developed as an athlete, successfully.