Parents play an important role in the mental development of young athletes.
According to many scholars, moderate involvement in your child’s athletic career is the optimum level of involvement. Your level of involvement is accessed by your child’s perception. So, talk to them and take their response seriously.
At Total Soccer we advise parents to be mindful of the following:
- Make your young athlete responsible for his or her own equipment
- Step a little back and let the child develop a relationship with the coach. For example, let them voice their questions to the coach. If they did not understand something during training regarding schedule or exercises, let them take the responsibility to ask
- Outcomes are not important. Focusing on the outcome can increase players’ anxiety and stress before games. Developing is more important than winning
- In a sporting environment the behavior of those around young athletes should be calm and composed. Children tend to reproduce their parents’ behavior. If parents show stress or negative response, children might produce a similar behavior. Which in turn can affect performance. Be positive, it will build their self-esteem
- Keep in mind that the opponents are also children with the same experience
- Do not criticize the referee/ coaches/ players in front of your child
- Try not to coach your child from the sidelines. It undermines the coach and can be confusing for the team