How to Relax and Let Your Kid Have Fun in Soccer

Girls just want to have fun! - (Photo: Kellyology.net)

Being a parent of a youth sports team can be a very trying experience.  Many people’s fondest memories come from this period of their lives, when they scored the big goal or hit that memorable home run.  When you are the parent watching your child compete in youth soccer, there can always be an edge to your fandom.  This is after all, your flesh and blood running around out there.  However, there are a few things you must remember when watching your precious out there on the field.

This is their experience and should be there’s.  How many of those fond memories of your childhood include your parents yelling at you to succeed, or yelling at the referee, or yelling at your coach, or getting into an all-out brawl with a parent of an opponent?  As you can see, your kid’s happy memories of sports can quickly dissolve into nightmare episodes involving parents who simply cannot keep their cool.

Instead, find ways to heap praise onto your baby, regardless of how they perform during games.  Even if they are one of the worst kids on the field, there are positives your can highlight.  Maybe they made a successful pass or finally beat an opponent 1 on 1.  If you have a happy mindset, there will be positives to express to your child no matter what.

Remember, youth soccer is predominantly about having fun.  Too many children are forced into sports by overly aggressive dads who want their children to live the professional sports dream that they could never achieve themselves. This leaves a ridiculous amount of pressure onto the shoulders of your kid, and will sap all the fun out of soccer before the opening whistle is even blown!  Such parents demand serious training off the field, punish the kids for not succeeding in games, and literally ruin youth sports for the kids.

Let your kids goof around a bit on their team.  Let them make friends.  Let them enjoy the sport because that is what the game is all about.  Chances are, your precious child will never come anywhere near a professional sports team, and that is OK.  If he or she is that talented, then that’s great.  But for any parent to expect something of the sort from their kid is simply ridiculous.

It truly can be hard to sit back and watch your kid play.  Obviously if things don’t go precisely your way it can be frustrating, but one has to realize that this is their kid’s time, not yours.  Once you can accept that reality and just enjoy the game and the experience for what it is, then you can truly be a helpful parent.  Of course, yelling praise or encouragement from the sideline can be nice too, but everyone knows that there is a line that parents occasionally cross when it comes to sideline antics.  Don’t yell at the referee, don’t become angry, just remember that this is a youth soccer match and that your kid is here to have fun.  Let them live their experiences in happiness!


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