Within any given sport parent(s) have been highlighted as one of the major influences in a child’s level of enjoyment and participation. Having coaches youth and men’s soccer for a number of years, I’ve encountered and observed a mixture of positive e.g. Positive – encouragement, positive reinforcement, no pressure placed upon winning and Negative – aggressive sideline behavior, dictating players decision making. The effects of each approach have been discussed in the Helpful and Harmful Free E-Book.
With elite soccer players evolving into multi-millionaires and living luxury lifestyles, minority of parents expect their child to reach those levels from an early age. This creates unnecessary pressure and unrealistic expectations on those young players participating. On the contrast, some parents do recongise and more importantly understand the long term player development model (LTPD) and the importance of participation and enjoyment within sport. Those positive parents are engaged, willing and open to understand how to become a positive sporting influencer, thus increasing a child’s enjoyment in the game.
These blogs will highlight, educate and share contributions that potentially aid coaches, organizations and parents about how to deal with an array of matters and/or concerns within the youth sports environment . I wish to clarify that any suggestions that are made, must be carefully considered and adapted to one’s environment and individual and/or team. I must reiterate “one size fits all” doesn’t apply in this context