Reigniting passion in youth soccer is something that I do often. Matter a fact I was recently interviewed by ‘Fatherly’ which is one of the best and fastest growing digital lifestyle guide for young parents, logging 2.6 Million likes on their Facebook page. Players all ages from youth all the way to the pros have bad times. I remember going through chapters in my soccer life where I had less fun. From a youth all the way up to an adult. There are different solutions to solve the issue for different people. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Soccer development is like a puzzle
Kids are some of the smartest people and they know when you are for them. So when they work with a coach or teacher, they can tell if that person is for them or not. That support helps spark that extra passion and love for the game. So getting in a good atmosphere, whether it be a certain team, coach, group or trainer. Find a place where you can improve technically on the ball. Improving skill in a low pressure atmosphere is by far the best way to improve confidence in soccer! Then it’s having those extra people who believe and support what you do.
Know it’s normal to have these feelings
Playing sports or doing anything in life will have hard times. I remember reading an article that featured Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer and how he said most athletes think about quitting the sport they love at least 1 time. He told a story about a player he recently coached, who was having a hard time adapting from being a High School star to a player in college having a hard time getting playing time. Long story short he almost quit, but stayed with it and ended up being one of the starting players soon after. There are not too many players who go through life always having it come easy.
Surround yourself with people who support you
Sometimes we are stuck with or even choose to be around people who don’t encourage us. You have to think about the people in your life or the people who could be in your life that support what you do. When we have people who speak life into us it helps us improve confidence and lowers anxiety. This means when we go to practice our passion that we improve faster because of self-belief. To reignite passion in youth soccer we have to put the puzzle pieces together and make sure support is being poured in. Here is an article I wrote 3 ways to boost confidence on and off the pitch.
Get private soccer training from a fun coach
If you can find the right person for the job, this will in most cases be the #1 thing that get’s your players having fun again. There has to be the right mix for most kids when it comes to keeping players having fun while improving. Having an expert work with your child 1on1 will not only improve their skills, but the extra motivation and encouragement will help with confidence. It’s not all about making the drills fun, it’s more about the education and how it’s being delivered. 2 trainers could do the same drills, but if one trainer has a mundane personality compared to a coach with energy the players will prefer the trainer with energy and patience.
Some people think that just getting a soccer skills coach is going to do the job. This in a way could make things worse. When you really want something fixed you need to find an expert who does this full time. This is the hard part, because there are not many full time skills trainers. You might have to use a soccer coach or young college kid who knows there stuff. The difference if you find someone who does it full time, is that person will have more experience which means they are better and can adapt to pretty much any player or personality. Besides a positive person to help boost confidence, the right training to improve skills is right there with it. Find what helps reignite passion in youth soccer or any soccer.
Why some top athletes never playing again
Yes, at younger ages all the way through High School there are players who might have had a winning season since they were 6 years old. But then there are tons of stories of players getting to college and then finding out it’s not easy competing against players from across America/World. Many end up never getting playing time, because they stopped having that desire to improve. Before you know it it’s too late and there is not enough time to catch up! In life we need to always try to dominate even when we are at the top. That is probably the most important time, because when we are at the top most humans don’t keep working their hardest. Stay humble and stay hungry to improve.
How long does it take to reignite passion in youth soccer?
In some cases it could take 1 or 2 private lessons which could mean 1 or 2 days to reignite passion in youth soccer players. All it takes is a spark and then from there players need to be educated on the process of youth sports. If they know that the most important thing is to have fun and play for yourself and not the coach or parents it helps them going forward forever. So many youth soccer players, especially girls are playing to make the coach happy. Yes, we want to make the coach happy, but first make you happy.
If you do your best and work for you, then you are working for everyone. I have seen players take 6 months to 2 years off and come back full of soccer life again. That was their way to reignite passion in youth soccer, but that’s their story. All they needed was to miss it a little bit. Knowing that every day is not fun is important because nobody has fun every single day once they are 14 years of age. At this point there have been injuries, painful losses, busy months of school, family and sports.
Educating athletes on how they should feel
If players think that every day has to be fun, or else it’s not for you then they are wrong. So educate your soccer family and friends. This way they know that it’s a grind like anything in life, but it’s mostly full of joy and good teaching. I think some people think just because their kid isn’t having fun for a few weeks it’s bad. Really it’s normal to have some bad weeks or even months. I’ll tell you getting kicked in the ankle every day, losing games, playing bad isn’t always fun. The more you play the more feelings you have in this game. Even if you have the best job in the world, there will be days that aren’t fun. So now that we know different ways to reignite passion in youth soccer, lets go have fun!
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