Soccer season is in full swing, and if your child has taken an interest in the sport, you’ll probably have a lot of games in your future. Whether your child plays on the school team or has signed up for one of the great summer soccer programs in your area — like 60% of kids who play organized sports in the U.S. — you’ll likely be spending a lot of time on the sidelines. Youth soccer tournaments provide a pivotal opportunity for you to show your support. But all too often, parents forget about this component and partake in behavior that may negatively affect their experience, as well as that of their child. If you know you’ll be attending a lot of matches through your kid’s summer soccer program this season, these three tips will make the experience much more enjoyable.
- Don’t Criticize
Rather than coach from the sidelines, you need to cheer on your child at their matches. Even if you’re an avid soccer fan, you need to set aside your informed opinions during these games. And ultimately, you’re not going to know better than the coach or the ref. Giving unsolicited advice is hardly ever welcomed in any circumstance, but it can be especially hard to take when it’s angrily shouted at you from afar. You may just want to help, but doing this could ruin the fun for your kid and will probably embarrass them. If your child asks for your advice after the fact, that’s one thing. But don’t openly criticize them or anyone else during the game.
- Don’t Focus on the Score
Some parents get caught up in what the scoreboard says, rather than on their child’s personal experience. It’s understandable that you want your kid’s team to win, but that’s certainly not all there is to it. You need to keep it all in perspective and teach your child there’s a lot to take away from a game they didn’t win. There’s always room for improvement, to be sure, but you should also highlight the things they did well! It’s beneficial for your child’s development to lose a game or make a mistake. But it’s also your job to help them realize that’s a part of life and that it isn’t the end of the world. How they felt about what they did is much more important.
- Show Good Sportsmanship
Jeering the other team is never appropriate, especially when the players are young. You need to give careful consideration to how you interact with opposing players and fans. By pointing out when someone on the other team does something well, you’ll be setting a good example for your own child, their teammates, and even the other parents in the stands. Competition is part of any sport, of course, but showing a good example of sportsmanship will help point your child in the right direction throughout their involvement in summer soccer programs.
If your child wants to learn soccer skills this summer, our programs and camps are the perfect way to start. For more information, contact U.K. Elite today.