As parents, it is difficult to control your emotions during your kids game. If a ref doesn’t make the right call or your player seems lost on the field, most parents cannot hold themselves from doing some coaching from the other side of the field.
How does it really affect the players development when parents get involved during games? Each kid has to be aware of game scenarios, listen to their teammates and their coach. Adding another voice to the mix might cause them to shut everything off and fail to perform during game time.
So as a parent, what can parents really do to maximize their player’s development? Here are four critical steps (or guidelines) that dedicated parents can do. Very simple steps that identify whose job is who. It is the coach’s job to educate and develop players. Parents’ job is to support and motivate players and increase commitment in their child to the sport.
Attend games in the “silence mode”.
As a parent, you must understand the difference between supportive (“Keep Goin”) and distracting (Pass to Ethan) communication. You must have the conversation with your child and him/her what they want from you on the sidelines and respect their decision. It is their game, they’re trying to follow the coaches direction and perform their best for the team. Many parents delay their kids development by adding more information their kids have to digest during game time.
2. Set personal goals with your child and hold them accountable to it.
Setting personal goals outside the team can increase your child performance. As your child steps on the field, knowing that he or she has a personal goal to beat will naturally cause to step up his game. The last thing a youth player wants is to let his parents down, yes this is more than letting the coach down. Wether the goal is to loose the ball less times than last game, score this amount of goals per month, complete certain number of passes, holding your child to higher standards will create more competitive spirit in your child.
3. Educate yourself about the Laws and Rules of the game.
It is no necessary or even interesting for you to become an expert of soccer, it is important for you to become aware of the basic rules and laws of the sport your child participates in. It makes you look really bad arguing with refs about an completely known law in soccer. This happens frequently with the “offsides” rule. Also, you constantly arguing with the ref lets your player know that it is good to focus and blame it on the refs when thing don’t go their way. A player needs to hear from you that even if he gets fouled, and the referee does not call it, he must get back up and focus on the results of the game.
4. Go outside and lay with your child.
Theres nothing more important for a child’s development than the involvement of parents. Investing some time to be involved in the sport outside of any club practice and game is the ultimate message to your child that you support his passion. Be careful though, do not make it a practice session, this will inevitably cause your child to loose interest into playing with you. The time you spend playing soccer is either working on things he needs to work on in a passive matter, fun games or just simple relaxing with the family. You will be surprised on how much your child can teach you about the sport.