Being a soccer parent is tough, it includes many tasks; taxi, nutritionist, counsellor, equipment manager, and cheerleader. However, what is the most important role that children wish from their parents?
Experiential research amongst 1000 seven year old children in Alberta soccer programs found that 80% of children would love to see their parents simply, PLAY soccer, with them.
Within an age of increasing inactivity amongst younger children, one colleague suggested a drastic measure to reverse this trend – stop parents from watching! How is this possible as it is often a requirement that parents attend soccer practices with their children? Well this proposal suggests that more parents could, and should get involved and play or coach their children, not sit and watch.
Soccer must be fun to keep us playing, whether as an adult or child. So parents are encouraged to share, nurture and develop a passion for playing. Can you score as many goals as your young soccer star? How about trying a simple soccer slalom or being the goalkeeper who saves the penalty?
If you enjoy playing then why not coach and make your child’s development more engaging and fun. Coaching can be as fun as playing, and we can all coach as many activities have their origins in childhood activities such as ‘tag’ and ‘what time is it Mr. Wolf’.
So the first role of any parent is to encourage their children to play, within soccer with a ball and the most effective method of this, is for the parents to also play!