Everyone Is Learning!
We ask the parents to understand that everyone is in a learning phase:
Most coaches are parents just like you and have given their time to try and help your children. The coaches are taught by the club's technical director in mandatory clinics and certification programs are also available. The coaches are trying hard to learn and they need your support.
The referees are mostly children from our club who have taken on a huge responsibility. Each referee attends referee school taught by the club's referee-in-chief and must achieve an 85% grade to be a referee. The referees have a very difficult job that can only be truly understood once you have refereed a game. They deserve respect from the players, coaches, and the spectators. There will always be controversial calls but please remember, the referees are learning too, and we must give them encouragement and our support.
It is most important to realize that the players are learning, and we must give them praise whether they do well or make a "mistake". A "mistake" is another way to say, "Learning Experience" and we prefer to see it that way and you should too. If you are too hard on your children, it will destroy their enjoyment of the game. Always encourage your children with positive reinforcement.
Yes! You are learning too. You are learning how to positively encourage your children to play the game. You are learning that the coaches and referees are volunteers trying to make your children better people and they really need all the help you can give them.
A Message from the Coaches
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous impact on their experience. With this in mind, we have taken some time to write down some helpful reminders for all of us as we approach the upcoming season. If you should have any questions about these thoughts, please feel free to discuss it with us, the coaches.
Let the coaches coach: Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes motivating, psyching your child for practice, after game critiquing, setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job. If a player has too many coaches, it is confusing for him/her and his/her performance usually declines.
Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer. Help with fundraisers, car-pool; anything to support the program.
Be you child's best fan: Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should never have to perform to win your love.
Support and root for all players on the team: Foster teamwork. Your child's teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.
Do not bribe or offer incentives: Your job is not to motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract your child from properly concentrating in practice and game situations.
Encourage your child to talk with the coaches: If your child is having difficulties in practice or games, or can't make a practice, etc., encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility taking" is a big part of becoming a big-time player. By handling the off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects of the game - preparation for as well as playing the game.
Understand and display appropriate game behaviour: Remember, your child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer, be appropriate. To perform to the best of his abilities, a player needs to focus on the parts of the game that they can control (his fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is presenting them). If he starts focusing on what he can not control (the condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the game at times), he will not play up to his ability. If he hears a lot of people telling him what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts his attention away from the task at hand.
Monitor your child's stress level at home: Keep an eye on the player to make sure that they are handling stress effectively from the various activities in his life.
Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest.
Help your child keep his priorities straight: Help your child maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships and the other things in life beside soccer. Also, if your child has made a commitment to soccer, help him fulfill his obligation to the team.
Reality test: If your child has come off the field when his team has lost, but he has played his best, help him to see this as a "win". Remind him that he is to focus on "process" and not "results". His fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Conversely, he should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite inadequate preparation and performance.
Keep soccer in its proper perspective: Soccer should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your children long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's experience.
Have fun: That is what we will be trying to do! We will try to challenge your child to reach past their "comfort level" and improve themselves as a player, and thus, a person. We will attempt to do this in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We look forward to this process. We hope you do too!