5 Things Coaches Want Parents to Know
By: Anthony Presnell (Men’s Assistant) Taylor Diem (Men’s Assistant)
Alex Schultz (Women’s Assistant) Izzi Howard (Women’s Assistant)
Here at Regis Soccer Academy, our coaching staff has had extensive experience coaching youth soccer. We have all worked for different clubs, ages, genders, and levels. We all have had different experiences that have shaped us into the coaches we are today. But there are certain things that have come up within all of our teams that we wanted to share with parents. These are five things youth coaches want parents to know…
Let us be the Coach
The number one thing that will drive a coach mad is when parents coach from the sideline. Telling a kid to “get wide, boot it, pass, etc.” could be the complete opposite of what the coaches wants the player to do. Now the player is conflicted and doesn’t know who to listen to; their parent or their coach. We wouldn’t tell their teacher how to teach, or wouldn’t tell their doctor how to diagnose. So let’s let our coaches coach and our parents parent.
Memories are more Important than Results
The club soccer season can be a grind for the player and the parent. Driving across the state, taking kids from practice to practice, and double header weekends can cause some serious burnout. All of the added stress can really take the fun out of the game. Our best memories from youth soccer are the camp games, hotel rooms with teammates, and playing with our best friends. I couldn’t tell you how my U12 team performed years ago, but I could tell how much fun I had staying at my first overnight camp with my best friend. Creating those fun experiences for a kid can really spur the passion for the sport. Burn out is real and we must all strive to make soccer as fun as possible!
We Can’t Pigeon Hole Our Athletes
One of the worst ways we can curtail a child’s development is to lock them into position. Even at the college level, we have to ask our student-athletes to play different positions for a myriad of different reasons. As youth coaches, we really need to emphasize the development of a total soccer player! As a parent you can help be a catalyst for this concept by encouraging your kid when they are asked to play a new position. Even if they struggle with the transition, your positive reinforcement will help them embrace the change and help to create a total soccer player.
Trust the Process
Players develop at different rates, both physically and mentally. As a player, I did not make a “top” team until I was U16. It took many years before I came into my own and developed on the field. It was a very frustrating process as a kid because I aspired to be at a higher level but I wasn’t finding the personal gains I desired. Through good coaching and patience, I finally began to develop and see more time on the field. Trust the process! Even when the results aren’t coming.
You’re More Stressed Than Your Kid is
If playing soccer isn’t fun, then we have completely missed the mark as coaches and parents. Even at the college level, the game still has to be driving force and still has to be fun. We have to strive to keep passion as the focal point for the child’s development and goal of being life-long soccer fans! Adding stress by emphasizing results over fun, or putting unrealistic expectations on our kids will only derail the development. Parents and coaches need to remain focused on the process rather the product. Let’s be the ones to stress and let the players play!