We’ve all seen the extremes: the ranting and raving parent on the sideline, the parent who has their player training seven days a week, year-round, and the parent who doesn’t show up to anything or seem to take an interest in their child’s life on the field.
Have you ever approached a coach about how your kid didn’t get enough playing time? I can tell you right now that this is the conversation every coach hates to have with a parent, and it likely won’t help your child in any way. Instead, encourage your player to take ownership of their game and their development as a player.
How much do you know about what your player is working on during training? I encourage you to find out! This doesn’t mean calling up the coach or club and asking for their practice plans.
Instead, engage your child in a conversation about skills or ideas that they’re learning and what they find challenging. This can also lead to helping your player set personal goals in their own development.
We’ve all heard that parent on the sideline scream “Shoot it!” or “Pass it!” Maybe it’s you. It’s natural to want to help your player on the field, but this does not help. This is a parent who is guilty of both No. 1 and No. 3. These directions can cause anxiety for a player already under pressure on the field. In fact, they may even directly contradict what their coach has instructed them to do.
Even if you are a USSF A-licensed coach, do not coach on the sidelines unless you are the coach of that particular team. Instead, stick to basic encouragement and cheering. Did you find out (after engaging your kid in the development process) that your child is working on mastering a specific move during training, or building confidence in using their left foot? If you see them do that in a game, go crazy and let them know you saw them try it.
The best thing you can say to your player after a game is how much fun you had watching them. If they engage you in a postgame talk, go for it. But instead of a full-game analysis, try picking out some things they did in the game that you know he or she has been working on.
By | December 10, 2014