Parental Support Tips for Young Soccer Players | 2024

I’m far from being a perfect father, just as none of us can claim perfection in parenting a young soccer player.

The journey involves doing our best, adapting to new situations, and approaching challenges with the most thoughtful strategies we can take hands-on.

Imperfections are part of the process, and that’s perfectly okay.

Having addressed that, it’s important to recognize the potential positive impact each of us can have on our young kids.

How To Be A Positive Parent To Young Soccer Player

Being a positive parent might just be the remedy that young America needs in the present moment.

Throughout this article, I’ll share insights, tips, and advice from my parenting and coaching experiences.

While I offer this guidance, please understand that it comes with the humility of not knowing your specific situation.

Take these suggestions with a grain of salt, for what worked for me may need adaptation in your unique circumstances.

Build a Positive Environment

Parental Support Tips for Young Soccer Players

Building a positive environment for your soccer-playing child involves a combination of supportive actions, effective communication, and encouraging a culture of growth and encouragement.

Here are some practical tips to help create a positive atmosphere for your kids:

Encourage Open Communication

Establish a foundation of trust by encouraging your child to openly express their thoughts and feelings about soccer. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their successes, challenges, and concerns.

Celebrate Effort, Not Just Results

Emphasize the importance of hard work and dedication rather than solely focusing on the outcome of games or competitions.

Celebrate the effort your child puts into practice, learning, and improving their skills.

Avoid Excessive Criticism

Provide constructive feedback rather than overwhelming your child with criticism. Highlight areas for improvement positively, emphasizing the learning process rather than dwelling on mistakes.

Model Positive Behavior

Children often emulate the behavior of their parents. Model good sportsmanship, and respect for coaches, referees, and opponents.

Display a positive attitude, even in challenging situations, to set an example for your child.

Encourage Teamwork

Reinforce the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Help your child understand that success in soccer is often a collective effort.

Encourage them to support their teammates and appreciate the value of working together towards common goals.

Create a Balanced Schedule

While soccer is a significant part of your child’s life, ensure they have a well-rounded schedule.

Encourage participation in other activities and hobbies to promote balance and prevent burnout. This diverse engagement contributes to their overall well-being.

Manage Expectations Realistically

Help your child set realistic goals and manage expectations. Unrealistic expectations can lead to unnecessary pressure.

Please focus on the joy of playing the sport and the continuous learning experiences it provides.

Provide Emotional Support

Understand that victories and defeats can have a significant emotional impact on young athletes.

Be there to provide emotional support, offer encouragement during challenging times, and celebrate successes together.

Promote a Growth Mindset

Foster a growth mindset by emphasizing that abilities can be developed through dedication and effort.

Teach your child to view challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement, promoting resilience and a positive attitude.

Stay Involved in a Positive Manner

Stay engaged in your child’s soccer journey, attending games and practices.

However, avoid being overly involved or putting excessive pressure on them. Your presence should be a source of support and encouragement, contributing positively to their experience. 

Parental Support Tips for Young Soccer Players

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is key to your child’s success, both on and off the soccer field.

Make sure they eat well, drink enough water, get good sleep, and stay active outside of soccer activities.

This not only helps them physically but also gives them mental clarity, especially as they approach their teenage years.

Lead by example; show them the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by living one yourself.

Respect the Coach’s Decisions

Show respect for the coach’s decisions to create a positive vibe.

Trust that they’ve got your child’s best interests in mind, even if you don’t always see eye to eye.

Remember, the coach might see things from a different angle and have a unique way of pushing the players.

It’s tougher for us as parents to get it, but most players don’t mind or notice the coach’s challenges.

Try not to criticize the coach in front of your child or other parents; it brings negativity and messes with the coach’s authority. Plus, it could make the season feel like forever.

Be There For Your Child

Parental Support Tips for Young Soccer Players

In life, being there is a big part of the deal. As a soccer parent, talking well with your child is crucial for their success on and off the field.

Having positive talks makes your child feel backed up and ready to do their best. Here are some tips for getting your communication right:

Constructive Feedback

Helping your child get better at soccer and develop as a player and person involves giving helpful feedback.

When giving feedback, try to be specific about what they did right or could improve on. Instead of saying something general like “You’re not playing well,” you can be more specific.

For example, you might say, “I noticed your energy drops a bit after half-time. Let’s talk about what you can eat to get that energy back up for the second half.”

Listen more

Listen actively to your child by paying attention and responding with care. Give them your full focus, ditching distractions like your phone or the TV. Show that you’re tuned in through nods or eye contact.

Let them talk without jumping in.

Be a sounding board before you start giving advice. I think the best move is often just agreeing with them and showing understanding.

Handling Wins and Losses

Putting development first matters more than whether you win or lose.

Progress is what counts, not just the result. In the big picture, the wins and losses won’t be as important as how you grow.

I understand – soccer games can be pretty emotional, especially when your child’s team wins or loses. It’s crucial to handle both situations with grace and positivity.

When your child’s team wins, celebrate their success and recognize their effort.

If they lose, give words of support and encouragement, reminding them that losing is just a normal part of the game.

Don’t Forget Their Education

Soccer might not be the path to a future career for every player.

The chances of youth players making it to high school, college, and NCAA Division 1 decrease significantly.

In the end, less than 2% of Division 1 players go on to play soccer professionally. On the flip side, education is the key foundation for your young soccer player to shape their future.

It should be the main focus.