As a soccer parent, I know firsthand that raising a competitive athlete is a challenge. There’s no playbook for parenting, let alone for raising a young athlete. That’s why seeking advice from coaches, clubs, and other experienced parents is crucial.
But as I’ve discovered over the years, there’s little guidance out there for parents who want to supplement their child’s training. Sure, there’s plenty of advice on how to behave on the sidelines and during the car ride home, but nothing specifically designed to help parents who want to positively contribute to their child’s training.
The following list draws upon the lessons I’ve learned, which are often overlooked in coaching circles. While it’s not that coaches are opposed to parents supporting their children (as I discuss in my podcast series), it’s simply not something that receives much attention or consideration due to the numerous other priorities they must address.
Here are key lessons I learned that aren’t talked about enough in coaching circles:
Parents have an advantage in helping their children’s supplemental training
With easy access to your child, you can fit extra training into your busy day. Even if you hire a private trainer, your child still needs to practice at home. Living with your child means you have the perfect opportunity to supplement their training in small manageable chunks.
It’s unrealistic to expect a trainer to stop by your home for a quick five-minute ball mastery session
Make the most of this advantage and help your child excel in soccer.
Parents have the advantage of helping their child before the child joins a soccer club
As a parent, you have a wonderful opportunity to help your child develop their soccer skills and knowledge before they even join a club. By spending time practicing with them, you can watch their ball control, passing, and shooting abilities improve right before your eyes.
Practicing together can help your child feel more confident on the field and prepare them for the challenges of playing with a team
It’s also a chance for you to bond with your child over a shared interest and to show your support for their passions. So, grab a ball and get ready to kick around with your little soccer star!
Parents have an advantage in helping their children develop their weak foot
As a parent, you understand how important it is to help your child develop their weak foot. You care deeply about their progress and want to ensure they have the best chance for success. You may have noticed that coaches often face obstacles when it comes to properly developing each player’s non-dominant foot.
However, there are simple things you can do at home to help. For example, my sons do a 10-minute rebounder session from Anytime Soccer Training that has significantly improved their first touch and ability with both feet.
Parents have an advantage in helping their children develop aerial control
Don’t underestimate the importance of aerial control in soccer. In many team practices, juggling and aerial control are often dismissed as just warmup activities, but they’re vital for skill development. Aerial training helps improve shooting and finishing techniques, balance, coordination, and agility.
I have my sons do a quick daily five-minute juggling session with Anytime Soccer Training to get hundreds of extra touches and improve their aerial control.
Parents have an advantage in helping their children get thousands of extra touches
As a parent, I know how important it is for young soccer players to get enough touches on the ball. Unfortunately, competitive youth soccer players often don’t get enough practice time, so it’s up to us as parents to find ways to supplement their training.
It may take some extra effort and commitment, but the results are worth it.
Parents have an advantage in modeling a growth mindset for their children
I truly believe that modeling a growth mindset is crucial to my child’s success. When my child sees me striving to improve and pushing myself to be better, they understand that hard work and determination can lead to success.
As a parent, I have the opportunity to lead by example and show my child the importance of a growth mindset, both on and off the soccer field.
Parents have the advantage of playing soccer with their children
Oftentimes, parents are their children’s first teammates, goalies, and defenders. Playing soccer with your children is fun and provides several benefits for both parents and kids. First, the parent and children get to spend quality time together and create lasting memories.
Related: Fun Soccer Games
Additionally, playing soccer together can help parents teach their children important life skills, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Finally, playing soccer with your kids will fuel their love for the game.
Parents can be a positive overall influence
As a fellow soccer parent, I know how important it is to go the extra mile to support our children’s soccer development, especially when they’re in competitive soccer.
That’s why I highly recommend supplementing your child’s training with positive reinforcement and utilizing effective resources like Anytime Soccer Training.
By doing so, you’ll not only help your child become a better player but also a better person. Although it may be a long journey, the results are definitely worth the effort.
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