Many soccer parents understand that as a player gets older, more opportunities to get better come their way.
You should match the training with the child’s ambition and your family’s budget and time. The more training sessions you put on your plate the more expensive and time-consuming it will be.
The options are abundant, some of them include;
- Team training
- Individual one-on-one training
- Small group training
- Large group training
- Day camps
- Overnight camps
- Club-specific camps
Honestly, it can get overwhelming for us (parents) and the players.
In this article, I’ll lay out possible scenarios that may help you make a decision.
What Kind of Soccer Training Should My Child Do?
Let me start by saying that, for most kids, team training is enough!
Most club teams practice 2-4 times per week for about 9 months out of the year. This is a lot of soccer.
If a coach is good, he’ll incorporate individual training, small group training, and team training into his practices. For these trainings, you’ll continue developing as a player but get more familiar with team dynamics.
Next up are additional training opportunities that are available. I would follow this order based on how quickly your child will develop as a soccer player.
For players that want more, I would suggest looking into a private coach if your budget allows it. These coaches will work on developing the player’s strengths and touching on their weaknesses.
Skills training is important to become a better all-around player. They’ll get to showcase their behind-the-scenes hard work in team practices and games.
After a private coach, I would consider small or large group training. In these situations, players will work on skill development and game-like training. The only downside is if the group isn’t filled with strong players then your child’s game could suffer a bit.
Lastly, camps are entertaining and usually a fun environment. They will move the needle a little in your skill development but they are designed to be more fun.
Find a Way (In Your Backyard)
One of the things I think many parents and players overlook is that they can practice in the backyard.
Yes, it doesn’t hold the player accountable. There are no coaching instructions. And, it takes a lot of self-motivation to do it at home.
If a player wants it that bad, they’ll find a way.
There are many great videos that they can follow that will get them better. In fact, here’s one…
What I Wouldn’t Do
Speaking from personal experience, you can get caught up in the mindset of “Am I doing enough for my kid”. I’ve been there many times. Just understand that you’ve done enough already!
There will be some kids that are in everything and anything. I’ve seen scenarios where the parents and players are just spinning their wheels. Their development is minimal but they are on the path to burnout.
Then, I’ve seen kids that take full advantage of team trainings who get better quickly. You’ve paid for the season already, it is respectful that your child works hard and proactively gets better.
What I would do is talk to your child and work together to find the right cadence of training. Start with team trainings and then slowly build upon that!