I’ll offer a couple big ones here. Ones that I think can act as great guideposts over the years.
Become a dedicated fan and student of the sport.
If your ultimate goal is to have your child fulfill his/her potential, you must learn as much as you can about the game itself. This involves watching a tremendous amount of professional matches, trying to analyze them, reading and hearing post game analysis (this can be a tricky one as most “analysts” know jack!), and exchanging thoughts with others.
I advise this for 2 reasons:
- Without a deep understanding of the game, I believe it is extremely difficult to identify a coach who can truly develop your player. This becomes increasingly important with age group.
- If you are to going to give soccer advice to your child, which parents do, you need to know what the hell you’re talking about. The influence parents hold can unwittingly stifle their kids development or help it. It’s a function of how much they “know”.
Soccer looks simple, but is rich in complexity. As such, please don’t make the mistake of thinking your understanding is exhaustive. There is always more to learn!
Understand that training 2 times a week with a game on the weekend is not remotely enough time for a player to develop. No matter how great a trainer you have, it is up to the player to live with the ball at their feet, and the game on TV. But the only way that will happen is if they love it.
Which brings me to perhaps the greatest advice of them all: Your focus as a parent should be on what can nurture that love.
What do you guys think? Let the advice train begin!