In my opinion (which I am sure many of you will agree) the single biggest factor in children’s development is their parenting. Directly or indirectly, decisions parents do or do not make, impact every aspect of their children’s lives.In the ever-pressurised environment of youth soccer, we are finding parents are continually looking for ways to help push along their child’s development. Below we have come up with what we see as some top tips to help our young budding soccer stars:

Let them PLAY

“Never Underestimate the art of Under-coaching” – Leon Kita

By letting kids play, this will allow for several personal benefits. It will facilitate them to develop problem solving skills, and work things out without being told what to do.

It will develop social skills as they negotiate what the rules and if anyone is breaking them (plus what to do when people are)!

Playing will encourage kids to be creative.

Take the pressure away

Kids should be allowed to enjoy the sport, and not feel like they must perform.

From my experience, as soon as kids start to feel too much pressure, they start to not enjoy it. When they are not enjoying it, they will not be developing to their full potential, no matter how hard you push them – they will fight back.

We need to encourage kids to develop a passion for the sport – one this fire is lit, watch them grow!

Do your research

Question – Would you just sign yourself up to the so-called local experts for huge amounts of money, and huge time commitments – just because everyone else does? NO! You would ask around, do some ‘Google’ research, make some phone calls, read some reviews and make an informed decision.

Please do this with your kids soccer coaching as well. In Sydney there are lots of options, and lots of fantastic coaches, so please take a little time to make sure it is the right fit for you – and most importantly your kids.

Leave it to the experts

Once you have made this decision – remember you have made this for good reason’s. Let them do their work.

I don’t remember being at school with the teacher at the front of the class explaining problems and solutions, and parents coming in to the class room and screaming the answer at their child! This would lead to some cause for concern, however it has for some reason been allowed to happen in our sport.

As a coach, I personally love constant praise and positivity (I don’t care how old you are – you love being told that you have done something well). Parents should actively encourage their children when participating in sport. Just please leave the instructions to the well qualified, experienced coaches you selected!

Let them PLAY

Did I mention let them play!!!!

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