I watch soccer, I played soccer, my kids play soccer.
Now, I can add soccer coach to my mommy resume.
After 2 soccer seasons of coaching, I declared my retirement from the game. However, B’s desire to play has called me back out to the pitch.
They say third time is a charm so I’m looking forward to B’s third soccer experience. His first year was a total fail. He was practically glued to my hip. The second season was a little better, but he still had reservations.
We decided to take a couple seasons off. When he said, “Mom, I’m ready for soccer” I was excited to sign him up.
Along with being fun, it’s also a great learning experience. As a coach I learned a lot in the process. Here’s Five Lessons I Learned As A Soccer Coach:
1. DON’T PUSH YOUR KIDS so young. Many parents dream of having a superstar athlete. But come on, at age 4 if they just wanna make mudpies and pick grass during the game, Little Jerome’s chances of a full athletic scholarship probably won’t be hindered.
2. Be patient. It’s great to expose your kids to a variety of developmental activities, but if they don’t take to sports immediately, don’t fret. If they’re under age 5 it’s normal for them to want a parent close. They may not even want to participate in all the drills. It’s OK.
3. They could develop an interest at a later age. If they don’t initially get soccer fever, Baby Beckham might come back to it later. Mo had ZERO interest in soccer early on. Initially, I was annoyed and envisioned a whole crop of kids super ceding him in soccer skills as he played freeze tag w/his imaginary friend during games. A few years later, Mo found his inner Messi on his own and has been unstoppable in soccer ever since. *Remember, Michael Jordan didn’t shine in basketball til high school* 🙂
4. Don’t let YOUR competitive spirit or desire to play sports ruin your child’s experience. If your child didn’t want to color, play the violin, or build blocks would you get upset or push him? If a sport was your dream as a child don’t try and live through your Youngin. Let him find his own way. Exposure is great, pressure to excel is not. Shaming a child to fulfill YOUR personal goal is wrong.
5. Be nice to the coach and officials. In rec sports most people are volunteering their time. There will be bad calls, maybe your kid doesn’t start, or your child gets pushed in a game…it’s part of sports, expect it. However, don’t yell at the coach. Don’t be THAT parent. Many volunteers are doing it for the love of their child and/or game. If you’re that adamant about on field choices, step up and donate your expertise next time.
I look at sports at an early age like pre-school. Let them have fun, explore, and enjoy themselves. There are MANY years ahead to grow, train hard, and get serious.
“Players play, coaches coach, parents cheer.”