Ten Tips For A Successful Soccer Season
Fall season is here. Whether it’s your child’s first time playing or their third or fourth season, here are ten simple tips you can follow to ensure an awesome season for everyone!
- Commit to having realistic expectations for your child AND the coach. This sounds easy but sometimes it’s not. Make it a priority to remind yourself this isn’t the Olympics, it’s ten-year-old recreational soccer! You and your child will have a happier and more rewarding experience.
- Reacquaint your child with the game. Just like anything in life, if your kid has some basic understanding and a little practice under their belt, it will be a more enjoyable experience and they will have more confidence. Spend a few minutes leading up to the first practice (or third) kicking the ball around and checking out Youtube videos of proper basic technique.
- Make friends with the other parents. You will see these people often. Get to know their names and a little about them. Having friends on the team will make it a much more enjoyable experience. Ask for the contact info of at least three potential carpool parents. This will come in handy when you’re in a pinch.
- Take photos or hire someone to take them. My daughter’s team had a Dad who also happened to be an amazing photographer. He kindly captured her (and the entire team) for the first four seasons of soccer with beautiful photos that we will always cherish. That being said, action photos on a soccer field aren’t easy. If it’s not your thing and there isn’t anyone on the team who enjoys it, then hire someone. Yes, all pitch in and hire a professional to come to one or two games. It will be worth the small investment.
- Buy snacks in bulk ahead of time. Particularly if you have more than one child playing sports. Trust me, your “snack day” will creep up on you. And instead of running like a crazy person to the corner 7-Eleven at halftime, the next time you’re at Costco or Smart and Final, stock up. Most of the snacks aren’t perishable.
- Don’t pick apart your child’s game on the car ride home. EVEN if you think it’s constructive criticism. This will cause them to lose enjoyment for the game and dread the ride home. Plus, take it from someone who has a hard time not doing it…they will stop listening and block you out anyways.
- Be prepared. Buy an organizer for your car and stock it with extra towels, snacks, shin guards, a sweatshirts, water, dry ice packs, Band-Aids, sunblock, and granola bars. Believe me, you will use everything I listed here at some point, either for your child or you will look like a rockstar parent when another child or parent needs something.
- Input game and practice dates into your calendar immediately. Right when you get your schedule, input all the information. Include addresses of game locations and field numbers. This will save you a lot of frenzied time early in the morning searching for the information during the season.
- Be on time! This will not only help your child begin their game or practice in a calm, focused way, instead of harried and rushed, but it is also disrespectful to the coaches and other players who do get there on time – when you don’t! We all have a lot going on in our lives, save the excuses and set a good example for your kids by arriving on time.
- Step back. If you find you are one of the many parents who gets riled up during a game, be it at your child, the coach, the ref – or all of the above. Take a step away. Remove yourself from the middle of the field in the thick of the other parents and sit off to the side. This will give you a different perspective, it will eliminate the energy (good and bad) that’s flowing from the sideline, and it will at the very least, keep others from hearing you!