Coaching your kid is one of the most difficult things you can do. But if done right, it can also be the most rewarding. As a second year parent coach, this is something I went back and fourth with a lot. During my daughters early years in recreational soccer, I took her to every practice and didn’t miss a game. I would listen to what her coaches were telling her and analyze their approaches. I was always clearly more knowledgeable than them, but never forced the issue. I’d give her advice, and motivate her from the sidelines every game. Sometimes maybe more than I should, but I can’t help it, soccer to me is much more than just a game.
I’d always tell other parents this game taught me life lessons, maybe one in a thousand kids you see will get a chance at going pro. Every time I’d ask for advice on coaching, someone would tell me if you coach her she won’t have a great chance of going pro. My response was always this cold stare and I’d just agree.
After a few years of recreational soccer, she was given a chance to play travel soccer. Which is another issue to some parents, but in my view, the quicker you can teach your kids about competition, the better. Let’s remember, they will spend more time on this earth as an adult than they will a kid. Learning to compete is a major key to success in life.
The club she joined happens to be the club I played at as well, West Pines United. A few of the coaches that were around helping me grow as a player and person are still around. An old coach of mine, who happens to be experienced in being a parent coach gave me some great advice.
“If you are coaching soccer for the right reasons, your daughter will only be positively affected. But if you are coaching the team just to favor your kid, it’s going to get bad, fast.”
I know I’m coaching for all the right reasons. My daughter can be playing soccer, tennis, basketball, whatever, I’m still going to be teaching her the values of hard work and competition. But with soccer, my knowledge, experience and passion for the game can only benefit my players. The club and team are trusting me to help improve not only the players skills but also their mentalities. To be continued…