Being a Top Notch Parent
by Mike Smith, Director of Coaching for Oregon Youth Soccer
November 7, 2011 09:00 PM
Some Tips on Being a Top Notch Parent
- Fuel a passion to have fun and enjoy the beauty of soccer. It is a wonderful game that can teach your child how to enjoy life, have discipline, compete at a high level, and work as part of a team. These are all great skills that will benefit your child in life. Remember the bigger picture at all times.
- Encourage your player to fulfill his or her potential by practicing hard in and outside of practice. Juggling, kicking a ball against a wall, and fitness are all important to do on your own. Just showing up to practice is not enough.
- Attend your child’s game as a fan and enjoy watching them compete with their teammates. Do not coach from the sidelines; do offer encouragement and praise. Never shout out instruction, criticize, players, or badger the referees; do root for the entire team, not just your child.
- Allow coaches to do their job. Do not contradict their assessment of your player’s strengths and weaknesses. Instead, encourage your player to work on aspects of their game that need improvement. Encourage the player to talk with their coaches to develop a game plan to improve.
- Pay your fees on time and turn in your paperwork when it is due. Make the parent administrator’s life easy by ensuring fees are current and paperwork is complete.
- Get to know the families on the team and build chemistry. Being part of a soccer team is fun for players and parents alike, and many times can lead to lifelong friendships. Having positive relationships with your fellow parents provides a positive role model for the players to emulate. One example of a way to do this is to organize team events to promote interaction and team building.
- Celebrate your child’s success no matter how large or small it may be. Many times it is the simple, day-to-day accomplishments and the encouragement that follows which helps reinforce a lifelong passion for the game.
- Educate yourself about the leagues and tournaments in which your player competes. A more comprehensive understanding will help you appreciate the value of the competition and how it positively impacts your player.
- Trust the coach regarding playing time, positions, other players, etc. In short, allow the coach to coach. Talk with your player about their level of satisfaction with their play and encourage them to talk to coaches if there is an issue.
- Be on time to practices and games. Instill a higher level of responsibility within your child. Teach your child to be prepared for practices and games with all necessary equipment. This again helps prepare your child for other facets of life.
- Promote good eating habits with your player to ensure they are "fueled" for success on the field. Also, insure your player gets proper rest to perform at their best.
- Teach your kids to respect, but also filter a coach’s comments. They are an assessment of the player, not the person. Do not take them as personal attacks. If needed, ask for clarification.
- Volunteer for the club. Parent volunteers learn more about how the club works and can help make the club strong. Be part of making the club even better for tomorrow. Share your expertise, time and you will get more out of the club in return!
- Provide unconditional love and support for your child. Don’t put pressure on them to perform. These kids are already driven and push themselves hard. They have high expectations of themselves. Make sure they know that you will always provide them with all support possible to help them achieve all they can in this game.