POSTED ON JULY 26, 2017
This is the first installment of a new monthly series of soccer parenting tips from Skye Edde Bruce, founder of MySoccerParenting.com/thrive. A former first team All-American at George Mason University and college assistant coach at the University of Richmond, Skye has her USSF “B” License and has been an active youth coach for the past 25 years. She is currently a coach educator for the NSCAA and soccer parent herself.
A movement has begun in the United States, as youth soccer coaches and clubs are encouraging parents to get more engaged and educated in and about youth soccer. What exactly does this mean for you? How can parents be more engaged in youth soccer?
1) Understand Your Child’s Personal Pathway
Too often in youth soccer the line is blurred between a participation pathway and a performance pathway and sometimes players who are best suited to a participation environment find themselves in a performance environment. When parents understand the various pathways, you can advocate for your child to ensure the appropriate one is available to them.
2) Be a Guiding Force of Perspective
Parents want children to participate in soccer because playing keeps them healthy and active while providing opportunities to learn important life lessons. It’s easy to be sidetracked with the game your child can win, the team they can make or the dream they may realize. At the end of the day, you need to ensure your child is developing a love for the game they will take with them for life.
3) Don’t Give Crazy Soccer Parents Any Power
Level Headed Parents need to take the power away from the Crazy Soccer Parents who have been ruling the sidelines and guiding the behavior of the coaches for way too long. Level Headed Parents need to protect the youth soccer environment by encouraging and empowering clubs to handle Crazy Soccer Parents. Soccer will be so much more enjoyable when the Crazy Soccer Parents are no longer a part of it.
4) Deal with your Personal Soccer Parent Stress
If you are feeling stress about your child and their experiences, seek guidance and education! Clubs are starting to see the value of supporting and educating all parents as it results in improved club culture, an increase in number of children participating, retention of coaches, and even improved performances by the players!
5) Demand More of Coaching Education
Coach education must go beyond the X’s and O’s. You need to advocate for youth soccer coaches to also be educated regarding communication, emotional intelligence, leadership and motivation so the coaches can more positively affect the lives of your child.
6) Be Educated about Sideline Behavior
Parents have been told for years not to coach and call out to the players and referees during games. This messaging is simply not working as parents continue to coach and call out too much during games. It’s time for some new kind of education when it comes to sideline communication. You need to be educated on the differences between supportive, distractive and hostile communication and you need to put an end to the distractive and hostile communication on the sidelines.
Want to learn more about how you can be an Engaged Youth Soccer Parent? Learn more about the Soccer Parenting Association and their Parent Education Platform — MySoccerParenting.com/thrive today!
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