(Newsletter Only) 25 things that a soccer parent has to do if they want their child to play at the next level
Do you think your son or daughter is good enough to play college or even professional soccer if your answer is yes then this is the article for you! To become a successful player at the top level talent doesn’t cut it but you need athleticism, knowledge of the game, technical ability, and mental toughness. As a parent, those characteristics seems impossible to control or evaluate but lucky for you we will break down into 25 simplified things you as a parent can do to take action. At Breakaway Football we believe that anyone can play at the top level if you work hard and if you are obsessed with the game you will find a way to be the top level. So here are 25 things you can do as a parent to help your child improve in soccer!
Get involved with your child’s soccer team. Go to all the soccer games and kick around with your child every once and awhile. You could also get involved by joining the board of your child’s soccer club. There are many ways to get involved some include being a referee, an assistant coach, or a team manager. Don’t stay on the sidelines and connect with what your child is doing.
Make a good diet for your child
Players need fuel to perform to their potential. The number one thing a parent can control that coaches can not is what the child eats. Getting the right food and nutrients is crucial for a player to grow and performance. Feeding your child healthy food and protein can help your child grow stronger and faster. Always remember to stay away from junk food and sugar so both you and your child can stay healthy.
Learn the Game
You can’t teach someone how to play if you don’t know how to play. There are many ways to learn about soccer. If you just look it up on the internet you will have a pretty good sense of the game. Learning the rules and basics of soccer is just the half of it. To truly learn the game you need to understand formations, positioning, and movement off the ball.
Find an academy program or find a good soccer club
Look up soccer clubs in your area and if you think your child is good enough find a club with a Development Academy. Development Academy is the highest level of soccer in the US at the youth level. The better the competition your child is going against the better your child will be. There are DA programs around the country there is most likely one around you. If not you should find a club with ECNL or NPL teams. Always play at the most competitive level of soccer in your area.
Always be positive
Being positive is something that everyone tries to do but not everyone can stay positive all day. A positive player will be better than a negative player because a positive player has fun doing things and wants to practice and get better. On the other hand, the negative player mostly complains about everything. If you stay positive it will reflect your child
Don’t burn out your child
The number one reason soccer players in the US quit playing soccer is that they get burnt out. What I hate to see is a very talented soccer player who loses the love of soccer because they are over practiced and are told to take soccer to serious. Never force your child to practice and always make sure that if you are practicing with them make your drills fun but challenging at the same time.
Know what your child is practicing
Don’t come up with your child's coach and ask them. Just simply ask your kid what they did at practice. Knowing what your kid did at practice is a great way to understand what your child needs to improve on. It also tells you what they are doing so you can incorporate your own training with your child.
Let it be fun
Remember that soccer is fun, it’s not a job it’s a hobby. Don’t ever force your child to play. If you are doing drills with your son or daughter remember to make it challenging and fun at the same time. Remember if your child doesn’t enjoy the game then he won’t want to play and he won’t try to better himself.
Don’t stress over things
Never stress over soccer. Don’t stress about your child not making the top team, losing the championship game, or for just having a very poor game. Soccer is known to be a stress reliever so don’t sweat the little things. They can’t go back in time to change the outcome you just have told them to brush it off and focus on the next game.
Have the Right Equipment
If you train with the wrong equipment you won’t get as much out of your training session. Always be prepared with the right clothing, cleats, and training equipment. A great place to get the right equipment is breakawayfootball.com. Equipment is very important for training and getting better at soccer. So don’t get stuck with old equipment and check out breakawayfootball.com.
Help boost confidence
To be a great soccer player you have to have good self-confidence. If you don’t believe in your own ability your coach won’t be able to believe in you. Soccer is more of a mental game and if you aren’t mentally strong you won’t be a successful player. Help boost your child's confidence by praising them when they do something good. Most of the time confidence grows with skills and ability but other times people need encouragement to feel good about their ability.
Communication is key
Talk to your child so you can know what they are thinking and how they feel. If you know how your kid feels about things then you will better understand their preferences. Communication is also crucial to know how your child deals with things. Just talk to them after the game and ask how they did during their game.
Find a soccer personal trainer
Find a personal trainer to help do private sessions for your child. Private sessions are a great way to improve your child’s technical ability. This will put your child at a huge advantage compared to other players. Private trainers will help your kid fine-tune your child’s technical ability.
Find training drills you can do with your child
Practicing 2-4 days a week is not enough if you want your child to be better than their competition. At team practices, the coach is trying to get the team better as a whole. This means that your child will not always improve on his weaknesses. Your child needs to work on his weaknesses on his own time. There are 1,000’s of soccer drills on the internet. You can also make your own soccer drills. But when you are making or finding soccer drills make sure they are fun and active. When your child is training on their own is a great way to improve their technical ability
Watch professional soccer games
Watching soccer games at the top level will help you and your child learn and understand the game. Watching the game is a great way to understand shape and ball movement. When watching a soccer game tell your son/daughter to follow a player that is in the same position as them. When watching look at the players positioning, how they create space and movement off the ball. Watching a top-level soccer game will help you improve your game and will put perspective on what it takes to play at the very top level.
Find a local pickup league
Go find a pickup league or a park in your area. Just tell your son/daughter to go get some friends to go play a pickup game. Pickup games are a great way to get some touches on the ball. It is also a good way to be more creative with the ball and to just have fun playing the game.
Always Praise and cheer
As a parent, your job is to cheer for your child. When you are cheering for your child remember you are not the coach and you should be telling the team what to do. Always praise your child after games and be proud of them.
Videotape your child’s game and then go over it with him. The best thing about videotape is that everything is there and you can’t hide anything. It’s great way to see what you did wrong and to fix it. Videotaping games are also very important for the recruiting process and help your child get better exposure to coaches and scouts.
Create a routine
Creating a routine of what you do every day. Make a Do to’s list of drills or things to do every day. For example, you could set aside a few minutes every day for your child to juggle or just play with the ball. If you do this consistently every day you will see a huge change in your ability. Small changes add up when you are consistently doing them. Let's say you do 2 extra pushups every day for a whole year. You are doing 730 more push ups then everyone else. Remember small changes can turn into giant results!
Understand your child's potential
Understand how good your child is and don't. If your child is struggling on an average club team realize that your son will not be the next Messi. But at the same time never tell your child they can’t do something and always encouraged them no matter what. Even if your child isn’t the best but wants to be a professional make them realize what it will take for them to reach their goals.
Make sure your child already loves the game
If your child doesn’t already love the game there is no point in forcing them to play. Because If your child doesn’t love to play then he will eventually get burnt out and he will quit playing. Always let your child have the say on what sport or activity they want to participate in.
Know your role as a parent
Know that you aren’t the coach and sometimes you don’t always know what is best for your child! Your job as a parent is to cheer for your child and not to coach them from the sideline. Realize that you can’t control what is going on the field all you can do as a parent is to cheer for your kid's team.
Treat your child the same win or loss
Wins and losses happen all the time so you should never look at your child differently either way. Make sure that losses don’t affect the way you treat your kid and never bring them down after a big loss. Win or loss you should still love your kid either way.
Don’t make excuses for your child
Never tell your child that they could have won if the field or referee was better. Don’t make excuses for them even to make them feel better. Making excuses helps no one and will just make things worse because they won’t take responsibility for their actions on and off the field. Never make excuses!
Don’t compare your child to other players
Every child has different skills and weaknesses and you should never compare your child to any other player. Comparisons even affect professionals every player that has been called the next Messi has slowly gotten worse throughout their career. Every player has different potential and growth some players peak earlier or later in their career than others.
Thanks for reading. We hope we created some value for you. Our goal is to help grow youth soccer in the US and we will do anything to help young soccer players reach their potential. If this was helpful and you want to see more content please share and check out our website (breakawayfootball.com) for all your soccer training equipment needs.