There’s a preconceived notion that futbol parents live through their kids… This is just not true for most. Of the soccer parents I communicate with, it’s easy to see what they really want. It’s not selfish. Instead it’s selfless. They want the best for their children in the present and future. Sports is a microcosm for the real world. Meaning, at school with friends there’s no passion being stirred and you don’t lose or win. In youth sports, kids can see and learn from peers and parents how to act and not act.
7 things futbol parents want for their kids
- Love/passion for soccer
- Continued development [technically and understanding]
- Confidence building
- Self control
- Ability to handle critical feedback with maturity
Besides what comes today or this season, we also want our kids to gain confidence & knowledge that translates into all aspects of life.
Story from a soccer parent
Just the other day I spoke on the phone to some futbol parents about what their daughter is struggling with.
It’s not uncommon the things that were mentioned from them. A lot of the issues come down to the level of play and the coach.
This particular family recently moved from California to Texas (both big youth soccer places), therefore coming from one of the biggest clubs to another wasn’t a change.
The difference for the player/child was the coaching style.
Back in Cali the coach wasn’t a big yeller… Now, the new coach yells – all the time.
The coach could be the best, but what if the players personality doesn’t respond well?
Below you’ll find ways to offset this.
The result of a coach who yells a lot
There’s nothing wrong with a coach who is loud. Coaches are actually taught to be loud in the certificate courses. But there’s a difference when the coach yells all the time.
With this comes timid play and lack of confidence with the ball because the player doesn’t want to be yelled at for making mistakes.
Players who continue to play show how much they really love soccer… Unfortunately many kids retire before they turn 12 years old.
Watch this video of a 9 year old boy who “announces his retirement from sports”
Personally, I want to help players, parents and coaches put a stop to this growing number of kids calling it quits before they reach high school.
Learn more in this mini-doc on why I do what I do.
Sometimes you just have to put up with a tough situation. As a family decide what’s best for the following year. This could be meeting with the coach or moving to a new team.
Futbol parents want their kids to continue developing skills
There are different parts that play a role in continued development in the technical area.
- Getting quality training over quantity [training outside the club is helpful]
- Good coaching situation mentally [encourager over discourager]
- Freedom to play without being controlled every moment on the ball
If a player is paired with a coach who yells all the time, it might be good to find a skills trainer to offset the verbal feedback. Positive input helps build confidence and love for the game.
Communication from parents also plays a role…
Parents can take this time to talk with their kids about how to stay strong mentally/emotionally. Learning to keep working hard during these chapters/seasons.
After the season, look at finding a coach who is more your style…
Just know it’s almost impossible to get everything you want – just like life. Sometimes sticking it out and proving yourself is the better option. All depends on your situation.
Another idea is stepping down a level. Kids ages 7-12 don’t need to play in the highest select levels. Whether the kid is dominating or not, both situations can give a lot of pressure.
Gaining confidence is what futbol parents want for their kids
I remember growing up playing soccer and going through many different situations. Sometimes the team/league was too easy, other times very challenging.
Mixing up the playing level can be good. Pro players actually go play futsal or street soccer in their off-season with amateurs.
Maybe one or two seasons you play on a team where you’re the star. This can build your confidence. After that, try out for a more competitive team that will show you how good your peers are.
Another option is go play pick-up soccer with no coaches or parents telling you what to do every minute.
How to get the love of soccer back
Unfortunately there are many kids who lose the love for soccer.
Almost every time it’s because of the coach…
Sometimes it’s a parent who wants it more than the kid or is just too involved with every single part of the game.
As a parent you have to give your kid some freedom and space… They know when they aren’t playing well, so no need to tell them every game.
Finding a coach who fits your style is important in these situations. Although, the older and higher level the harder it is to find.
Again, a good skills coach can build up the passion and love for soccer.
Similar to the coach, you have to find the right fit. This can be hard no matter what city you live in.
One of the best things a player can do is practice alone passing against a wall or a good rebounder!
There are many places that don’t have professional skills trainers…
You can always fly in to work with me. I have clients who fly in from out of state just to get a skills and confidence booster. It’s a great time to have a mini-vacation too.
Futbol and life are a rollercoaster
Over the last 12+ years of working with kids all ages and levels, I can tell you not many have a great situation every season.
Most players have to fight through times where the teammates or coaches don’t work well.
Same with life, soccer gives us ups and downs.
When the downs come, stay focused and know you’ll get through it.
Consider it a joy when you face various trials, knowing that the testing produces endurance. You will become more mature and complete, ready for the next test.
Continue to think positive and surround yourselves with others who are like-minded and who put courage in you, not take it out.
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