Parental Support - "The Key to Peak Performance"
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. You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. 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 her and her performance usually declines.
2. Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with fundraisers, host team dinners and in general stay positive in the stands.
3. 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.
4. Support and root for all players on the team: Foster teamwork. Your child's teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.
5. 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.
6. Understand and display appropriate game behavior: Remember, your child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer, be appropriate. To perform to the best of her abilities, a player needs to focus on the parts of the game that they can control (her fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is presenting them). If she starts focusing on what she can not control (the condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the game at times), she will not play up to her ability. If she hears a lot of people telling her what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts her attention away from the task at hand.
7. Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest.
8. Help your child keep her 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 her fulfill her obligation to the team.
9. Reality test: If your child has come off the field when her team has lost, but she has played her best, help her to see this as a "win". Remind her that he is to focus on "process" and not "results". Her fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Remember, you can't control how good or lucky your opponent may be. You only control how hard and smart you play.
10. 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. In the grand scheme of things, high school is a very short four years. Enjoy the experience with your daughter. We look forward to this experience. We hope you do to!