I love watching my son practice, seeing him play and develop his game brings me great satisfaction every time I watch him (maybe not so much in the winter but you have to take the rough with the smooth).
Having to look at things as a parent rather then the coach has allowed me to see things from a parent’s perspective.
Even I have sometimes found it difficult to hold myself back from having a word with my boy from time to time when I can see he is not giving his best, but I know this isn’t the best approach.
“Really, so you would just allow your child to continue to make mistakes and train badly Kurtis?”
I know this question might be running through your head right now, but trust me there are other ways to get through to your child.
Have you ever thought what it might feel like for your child to constantly here you bark instructions during training?
Not only that, can you imagine how this can undermine your child’s football coach?
Let’s take a look at what a typical training session can look like for a child with a parent who likes to ‘take control’ of their child’s practice.
It’s a chilly Tuesday night at Miles’s practice and all the youth players eagerly anticipate the training session ahead.
That is all but one player which is Miles.
This is Miles’s first season playing in a youth football team and in the beginning he couldn’t wait to go training and play the game he loves, but that enthusiasm quickly changed.
You see, over the past few weeks Miles’s dad has been very ‘vocal’ on the sidelines.
“Miles you are being lazy, work harder” his dad screams from touchline.
Miles turns around to acknowledge his dad which temporarily stops him from playing.
“You need to get stuck in!” he continues to rant as Miles’s confidences started to wane with the constant disruption to his game.
Miles begins to make more mistakes and lose the ball more often and his dad is getting more and more frustrated.
“What is that Miles” as he continues to display his disappointment at his son’s display.
Miles’s coach is clearly irritated by the parents behaviour as it’s contradicting everything that he is trying to teach the child.
But why has he allowed this to continue? surly he must say something.
The session has now ended and Miles’s dad finishes with one final comment “wait till you get to the car we are going to have a big chat about this” he said while Miles looked sheepishly to the ground.
This maybe a fictional story but the events that were mentioned I have witnessed personally from parents many times, sometimes during my sessions.
Is this the environment you want for your child?
Your Child’s Environment is Key!
Let me ask you something when you make a mistake do you usually realize you have made one?
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? I remember what it was like to constantly receive instructions from the sidelines when I played but this was from my coach, not my parents.
I always remember thinking in my head “would you just shut up, your not helping me just distracting me!”.
This is likely what your child is thinking. The majority of the time they know when they have made a mistake, you don’t need to remind them of it.
Many parents believe that this will help their child develop as you are telling them what to do but in reality, it’s more of a hindrance.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”Robert F. Kennedy
In my formative years, I played mostly in the streets & playing fields without adult interference and we used to play for hours all the time.
I made many mistakes during this time, but because I had the freedom to make these mistakes and try different things is the reason why I learned so much at this time.
During practice your job as the football parent is to just be the FOOTBALL PARENT! nothing else!
Leave the coaching to the coach and try not to interfere with the practice.
Let your child do what they came to do, which is learn to play the game that they love.
If you really want to help your child develop, then supplement their team training with extra support outside of practice
For more idea’s on how to go about supporting your child outside of team practice try my free 5-day challenge below and help your child master the ball!
Besides that just enjoy being a football parent and watching your child take part in something that they love.
Kurtis is the Head coach at ‘Let’s Play The Game ’ and has over 15 years of coaching experience. He is also a head coach at a junior school and club level.
Kurtis has experience in training and mentoring grassroots coaches & parents in the West Midlands area. He holds a Diploma of Higher Education in Sports Coaching, FA Level 2 Badge Holder. He has the Premier Skills Coach Education Award.