Why are we taking youth soccer so seriously these days? I’m guilty of it too sometimes. Soccer parents are putting so much pressure on their kids to play well. I’m seeing it all over the soccer field no matter what age it is.
I really do think it’s a topic worth mentioning and some parents need to hear the cold truth…you are doing more damage than good!
It’s happening at all levels (rec and travel) but I think club soccer kids are taking the biggest brunt of it.
For example, yesterday, our team lost in a scrimmage 6-1 and all the parents were up in arms about the result. They were upset that there was no leadership on the field, their kid didn’t play well, their kid didn’t play much, etc. As the kids left the field to walk to their parents, it was almost like the parents needed to shuffle their child to the car quickly so they could have an honest chat with them. It was hard to see. And, mind you, it was a scrimmage!
These kids are trying. These kids will have bad games. These kids see the game differently (because they are actually playing). These kids have so many emotions running through their bodies already.
The result of the games won’t matter next week. There is usually plenty of soccer to be played.
What matters most is that these kids are developing their skills and love for the game.
As parents, let’s not take that away from them…
Let’s support our children no matter how ‘awful they play’.
Let’s understand that being upset with them won’t create memorable memories. It may, however, create angst and regret five years from now. You’ll look back on these days and say to yourself, “I wish I could’ve enjoyed it more.”
PRO TIP: If you are really struggling to get perspective. Sit down for 5 minutes and look back at older pics of your child and see the kid in them. The pure joy they had for the game.
As a parent and player, let’s have a long-term view of their soccer career. Yes, it may be frustrating today but as long as they are improving, it won’t matter.
What matters is that they are happy. Let’s not suck that out of them.
[end of rant]