Parents must not lose sight of why children participate in sport.
Having Fun Is The Reason
Studies show that the most popular reason for playing youth sports is to “have fun‟. The next most popular reasons for playing sport are to learn new skills, to be with friends and to experience the thrill of competition.
Although children do identify winning as a reason for playing a sport, it is not one of the most popular reasons.
Many parents erroneously believe that winning is the number one reason that children want to play sports. Parents who become preoccupied with winning and losing place an unreasonable amount of pressure on their child and risk turning their child off to youth sports.
A Parent’s Role
An effective sports parent should also understand his or her role and the expectations associated with being a soccer parent. The primary role of the parent in youth soccer is to provide support for their children. At these young ages, parents need to provide encouragement and help the child understand the lessons on team building that soccer can teach.
Parents of Young Soccer Players Should …
• Listen to their children’s views about playing soccer
• Provide unconditional love during both successes and failures
• Help children understand that the definition of a good performance is giving one’s best effort
• Encourage the players to be self-reliant and to accept responsibility for their decisions/actions
• Encourage non-sport interests
• Allow their children to set their own standards of excellence
• Provide encouragement and hopeful optimism when needed by the youngster
• Emphasize enjoyment above all!
Maintain A Positive Attitude
In competition, someone always has to lose. If you win, do it gracefully, not boastfully. If you lose, do not allow yourself or your children to become negative.
Too much competition and too many expectations at an early age will slow your child’s progression down. Make fun and development of technique your first priorities and keep it simple.
Be available to help your team’s coach in any way. They will need your support. Make yourself available as a volunteer whenever possible.
Disagreements with coaches and officials do NOT belong on the soccer field. Questions, input, feedback, and opinions can all be voiced at an appropriate time and place, either with your coach, through the associations’ representatives or the VYS Technical Director and/or VP of House/Travel. Never in front of the players! Remember why you are here!