February 28, 2013
Avoid being caught off-guard and check your children’s footwear well before the season starts. If you are using last season’s cleats, make sure your child tries them on and even wears them outside to stretch them out, so they are comfortable on game day. If you are purchasing new cleats, allow your child to wear the shoes around the house, or even in the shower, to ensure a better fit on the field.
Game Day Readiness
Your child’s “Game Day Attitude” should be optimistic and filled with positive energy. If your child is joining a new team, know that it’s normal for players to feel uneasy about new teammates and coaches. Explain to your child that every new team presents opportunities to learn from a different coach – a teacher of the game – and to meet new teammates, who can become good friends.
Anxiety is a normal part of joining a new group. Listen to your child and ask what you can do to help him or her feel more comfortable. If a coach sends you a list of team members, go through the roster with your child…he or she may recognize names or know other children on the team.
The Right Frame of Mind
Being part of a team creates learning opportunities for your children. As parents, you understand the value of playing sports and want your kids to get the most from their experience, so talk to your child about the most important aspects of teamwork. Just like school, in which all students must bring their “listening ears” and be willing to learn in a group setting, the role of the coach in soccer is like that of the teacher in school, the soccer field is the classroom and teammates are classmates. Emphasize that wearing a uniform is significant; it makes us part of the team and requires everyone to try to do their best. Stress that trying is much more important than accomplishment. While you can’t always control a missed pass or a poor touch, you can always control your attitude and effort.