What Kind of Soccer Parent are You?

Take a look at this article by Roberto Valeiro Mato and let me know what you think?  Where do you fit in?

Enjoy,

Coach Randle

What Kind of Soccer Parent are You?
It is not easy to raise a child. This article will serve as a self-help guide, both in terms of children’s every day education as well as with respect to the behavior of parents in the athletic career of their children. It offers tools to help channel emotions toward something that benefits everyone involved in the process: children, educators, and parents.It is important to note that all of the information contained in this document has been taken from different articles written by experts on the topic. We have collected a set of behaviors to submit to the parents, a basic combination of standards or principles necessary for fostering an environment that supports the work of educators/managers, as well as the very development of children themselves.It is essential that this set of behaviors that favour the childhood development be clear from the very start. Thus, parents may be told to:
  • Avoid giving instructions to children that might confuse them.
  • Help children arrive on time to matches and trainings, or at the very least notify the manager in the event of a delay.
  • Avoid hanging around the goal during trainings and particularly during MATCHES, giving directions that remove children from the moment and and keep them from enjoying the match and learning from it. It also hinders their ability to follow the manager’s orders.
  • Notify the manager of any absences from matches or trainings with as much advances notice as possible (via telephone, SMS, Whatsapp…).
  • Keep their heads and refrain from insulting any of the team members, the opponent, or the referees. Special care must be taken to prevent harming the children’s image in any way, or that of their team or the club in general as a result.
  • Do not enter the field outside of training hours. The intention here is for the teams using the pitch for training at that moment to have the greatest possible amount of space and tranquility during their session.
Undoubtedly, all parents want what is best for their children, but often the way in which they aim to show to achieve this is not the most appropriate. And many times we do not even realise it. In the early years of athletic training, it is essential for the parents and the manager in charge of a group of young people to collaborate, not just in their athletic education but also in their human, social, and personal development. It goes without saying that the most important thing at this age is not to win at any price: for us, the game itself comes before victory.Therefore, it is important for parents to understand the role they must take on when their child is playing a sport. There are two things they must be clear one:

  • The main objective of youth football is to learn and have fun with teammates, managers, and parents.
  • Not all parents fully understand the educational principles, and they thus get themselves into less than ideal situations (e.g. insulting the referee, constant criticism of the manager, teammates, and/or opponent). All of this will result in the children copying what they see and doing the same thing.
There are different types of parents who focus on the athletic career of their children in a way that is often not terribly beneficial:1. Fanatical parents: They tend to overpower the very personality of their child and tend to disagree with decisions made by the referee and managers. The typically do not the support the team, opting instead to give all of their support a single player.2. Parent-managers: They have a background in the same sport as their child/ The parent becomes the child’s manager, and as a result, the directions given by this type of parent tend to be followed more closely than those given by the manager himself.

The parent is typically dissatisfied with the child’s performance, which may cause the child to abandon the sport upon failing to fulfil the parent’s goals.

3. Parents who are team managers: In modern-day football, which can offer tremendous financial gain, it is a rising trend to see parents who manage their child’s team. More than the sport itself or the child’s well-being, the parent in interested in the money to be earned than anything else.

The most common problem here is that the child is subjected to such intense psychological pressure that the sport ceases to be pleasurable for him.

4. Indifferent parents: The parent is thoroughly uninterested in the child’s athletics. Although this stance in and of itself is not harmful, since children are able to be more at east, oftentimes athletics are the first thing to be eliminated when the child is being punished. Or, alternatively, these kinds of parents forget that children want to share their triumphs with them.

5. Protective parents: These parents tend to over-protect their children to the extent that they do not leave them any room to develop. These children become overwhelmed and use sports as a way to vent their frustrations. The risk: Excessive dependence of the child on his parents.

 

Respecting the work of the managers:
The important thing is not to compare one player to the next but to see at the end of the season that all have benefitted from the training. Parents should put themselves in the shoes of the managers and other Club figureheads. Teams are composed of many players, each with his own set of characteristics. Parents, subconsciously, only have eyes for situations involving their child.It is logical that every mother/father out there will have their own opinion and will occasionally disagree, but the manager is the one in charge of the team, and as long as the player is a member of the team, it is best for parents to give their support or stay to the sidelines rather than criticize and worsen the situation 
Successes and failures:
Both are part of sports and, as such, both are necessary for improving (on a personal and football level). If we retain all that we have done well and reflect on how to change what we have done wrong, we will do a brilliant job.It is fundamental for children to get hooked on sports and the habits and behaviors of the Club. They must be allowed to show their creativity without a fear of making a mistake or losing.Everyone—parents and managers alike—must set a good example in the daily lives of the children, so we must consider and measure our actions and behavior.
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