Parental Support - The Key to Peak Performance
Coaches..you can print this out and hand to parents at your first team
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous
impact on their experience. With this in mind, we have taken some time to write
down some helpful reminders for all of us as we approach the upcoming season. If
you should have any questions about these thoughts, please feel free to discuss
it with us, the coaches.
- Let the coaches coach: Leave the coaching to the coaches. This
includes motivating, psyching your child for practice, after game critiquing,
setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care
of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job. If a
player has too many coaches, it is confusing for him and his preformance
- Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with
fundraisers, car-pool; anything to support the program.
- Be you child's best fan: Support your child unconditionally. Do not
withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should
never have to perform to win your love.
- Support and root for all players on the team: Foster teamwork. Your
are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your
child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.
- Do not bribe or offer incentives: Your job is not to
motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract your child from
properly concentrating in practice and game situations.
- Encourage your child to talk with the coaches: If your child is
having difficulties in practice or games, or can't make a practice, etc.,
encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility
taking" is a big part of becoming a big-time player. By handling the
off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects of the game -
preparation for as well as playing the game.
- Understand and display appropriate game behaviour: Remember, your
child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer, be
appropriate. To perform to the best of his abilities, a player needs to focus on
the parts of the game that they can control (his fitness, positioning, decision
making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is presenting them). If he starts
focusing on what he can not control (the condition of the field, the referee,
the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the game at times), he will not
play up to his ability. If he hears a lot of people telling him what to do, or
yelling at the referee, it diverts his attention away from the task at hand.
- Monitor your child's stress level at home: Keep an eye on the
player to make sure that they are handling stress efeectively from the various
activities in his life.
- Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your child is eating
the proper foods and getting adequate rest.
- Help your child keep his priorities straight: Help your child
maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships and the other things in life
beside soccer. Also, if your child has made a commitment to soccer, help him
fulfill his obligation to the team.
- Reality test: If your child has come off the field when his team
has lost, but he has played his best, help him to see this as a "win".
Remind him that he is to focus on "process" and not "results".
His fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win".
Conversely, he should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite
inadequate preparation and performance.
- Keep soccer in its proper perspective: Soccer should not be larger
than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you,
suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your children
long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep your
goals and needs separate from your child's experience.
- Have fun: That is what we will be trying to do! We will try to
challenge your child to reach past their "comfort level" and
improve themselves as a player, and thus, a person. We will attempt to do this
in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We look forward to this process.
We hope you do to!
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