The new soccer season is here. In every new season, there is an opportunity for every player to establish new habits to have fun, work hard, develop and play to their max. As a parent, you may often feel like only a cheerleader or chauffeur for your player. Here are just a few ways you can help your player get the most out of the upcoming season.
Have a Teachable Spirit
Teaching your kids to be coachable is one of the biggest keys for them to be able to absorb all that their coach teaches. Their ability to listen, ask questions and apply what is being taught allows them to grow quickly. Being open to learning and being teachable is the key here.
Imagine a bowl of water, a sponge, and a rock. Dip the sponge into the bowl. Take the sponge out and squeeze the water back into the bowl. Then put the rock into the bowl. Pull it out and ask yourself the following questions: What is the difference between a sponge and a rock? A sponge absorbs all of the liquid around it and a rock does not. Become a sponge and absorb all that your coach has to offer.
In soccer, players have to make their own decisions in the field with the skills and knowledge they learn from coaches. The more teachable they are the more skills and knowledge they can recall and apply in the game.
Plan for Practice
Typically, we go from the craziness of life directly to practice. Create intention for a little transition:
- Physical Transition—What does your player need to do to be physically ready for practice? Eat a light snack, drink some water, have their soccer clothes and equipment ready. Help them to develop a routine before practice so they have all tools they need for a great practice.
- Emotional Transition—What does your player need to do to be emotionally prepared? How can they create the feelings needed for “peak practice”? Maybe listening to their favorite music on the way to practice (to either relax, calm down or to pump up). Also, talking, smiling, and laughing with teammates prior to the start of practice will get them in a great mood, and ready to go, so be sure to get them to practice early so they have time to transition.
- Mental Transition—What does your player need to do to be mentally prepared? Work with your player on their training notes and goals training notes and goals after each practice. Prior each practice review those notes, and have them write down 1-2 goals for the upcoming practice.
Teach them to Control the controllables
Not everything in a soccer game is within yours or your player’s control. Focusing on results, playing time, and positions the coaches play your player in are out of yours and your player’s control. Have your player focus on what they can control, their effort, their skills, and contributing to their team.
Have a Mistake Ritual
No one is perfect. Having a plan in place for your player when they do not execute will help them create a habit that helps them have a quick positive response. Developing a positive saying, thought or gesture will help them move on to the most important play, the next one. Remember, mistakes are only a problem if we don’t learn from them.
As parents of soccer players, you want to be able to support your player in every way you can. Helping to get your player to training early, prepared and ready to learn will help them to be set up to become the best player they can be.
Have a great season!