Soccer Parents on the Sideline of Youth Soccer Games Can Make A Difference
Soccer parents want to help their kids. Perhaps the most important message parents need to share with their kids is that they love watching them play … win or lose.
In this new article by Sam Snow, former Director of Coaching for the US Youth Soccer national office, here are valuable tips on how parents can help on game day!
Youth Soccer Parents Make A Big Impact
Parents of youth soccer players ages 6 years old and older play an active part in the enjoyment their children have in youth soccer.
Often youth soccer parents do not realize the huge impact they have on their kids and the desire to play the beautiful game.
What can soccer moms and soccer dad do to be a positive influence on game day? Encouraging your kids to try new things is step one.
Now that your youth soccer player is out there kicking, running, laughing, falling and all chasing the ball, they simultaneously need positive reinforcement.
Many parents during youth soccer matches and sometimes even training sessions, yell at their kid, giving direction on what to do and when to do it.
This is not what a soccer parent should do.
Giving direction to the players on the field is what the youth soccer coach does.
Parents sometimes cheer when things go right and sometimes they cry out in anguish when they don’t. This is a lot of emotion and drama for a kid to deal with.
Expert coaches know that parents are trying to help the kids. What parents need to remember is to be positive.
What many adults have forgotten from when they were 5-years old,, 6-years old, and 7-years old is that children of those ages can only successfully focus on a limited number of tasks at one time.
That can continue to be true, to a lesser degree, also for older players too.
It takes all the attention capacity of a 6-year old player to control the ball.
At this age in a kid’s development, they are still improving basic balance skills, coordination, and agility.
Also, parents should remember that in a 4 versus 4 match, the odds for the player with the ball are generally 1 to 7.
During a match, the young youth soccer player needs to focus on the task at hand — trying to control the ball. Unfortunately, they are distracted by all the adults yelling from the touchline. Now they must make a choice, either play the ball or listen to the parents. They are incapable of doing both simultaneously
So, the lesson is clear. If parents want to help the kids play their best, they need to be quiet while watching the game.
Just sit back and let the children play!