How to Keep Your Child on the Soccer Field

Many children start out playing soccer at a young age. As they grow in their knowledge and skill of the game the competition become more serious. Players on recreational leagues are encouraged to try out for more competitive leagues. This is the time in an adolescent’s life that more and more pressure is put on their shoulders and they end up quitting. Even the athlete that makes the soccer team will quit if they find themselves on the bench more than on the paying field.

More and more adolescents are staying away from competition, which is important. It teaches the individual the value of teamwork and cooperation, it teaches them the gracious way of victory and in defeat. This carries over into adulthood, into the job market and coworkers.

There are several ways parents can help with keeping kids on the playing field.

  1. The right team is important.

First stay away from leagues that are to demanding; this could drive your child right to the “I quit.” Search for a team that you think might suit your child; ask if the players play year-round or just seasonal. If your child is just starting out then seasonal is a good place to begin. This way they might not get burnt out.

  1. Finding the right coach.

Having the right coach for your child is the key for your child success. A coach can make or break the child’s self-esteem and motivation. You don’t want a coach that has never coached before and knows nothing about the sport. Even a coach that hasn’t coached in years wouldn’t be good. Times have changed and the rules have changed.

Find the right coach is very important. Here are some questions that you should ask.

Have you had any training in coaching? – All coaches should have some kind of training.

Do you get paid for coaching? – Most paid coaches have had sessions from a national sports organization.

What is your philosophy on sports and kids? – Look for personal development, skill instructions and fun.

Do you have a license? – If this coach does have a license it doesn’t mean he is an all-around coach but in order to have a licenses the coach had to go through courses.

What experience do you have with this sport? – Good coaches usually do have experience in the sport they are coaching.

Do you have first aid training? – All coaches should have knowledge or certification in first aid.

Never be afraid to ask questions, remember this is your child you are handing over to an individual that you have no known knowledge about. For remaining in the field, the information can be gathered from site. The managing of the games will be great without any hurdle to meet the requirements. All the correct information should be provided to the person to participate in the tournaments and leagues. 

  1. Observe first hand.

Observe games and practices. Ask you child how things are going. If you are feeling that the coach, even the parents are taking the game to serious, don’t hesitate to speak up. If you feel that your child isn’t playing much, then talk to the coach. There might be a good reason why. At practices the coach should teach skills one at a time and have the ability for working with children of different skill levels.

  1. Watch yourself.

Tell your child to have fun when you drop him or her off for practice. At games, don’t scream at the referees, coaches, and don’t try to tell your child what to do when they are on the playing field and you are on the sidelines. This is the coaches’ job. If you have questions on why your child did that or didn’t do that, talk to the coach after the game. As a parent you have to think of your child on the playing field, you don’t want to embarrass them in front of their teammates and other parents.

    5.Praise and Criticism

Never criticize your child right off the playing field after a game and never make a big deal about winning or loosing the game. The key is to focus on their performance, for every compliment you give, make a suggestion on how improvement could help then compliment again.

  1. Team effort

Make sure your child understand that this sport is a team sport and that everyone has to complete the season. If your child wants to quit mid way through the season, try to find out why. Ask your child if there is anything you can help with. Encourage staying for a while longer, this will probably do the trick but if need be talk to the coach.


Written by 

Corine Jones is a writer, editor and web designer. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree of Journalism. She is currently the editorial manager of Coyote Rescue.

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