The kids playing in our soccer club are obviously players on their respective teams, but PLAYER here is a reminder of the components that should make a good experience for all involved.
First and foremost, this should be an enjoyable experience for the kids. Yes, they will improve with hard work, but the overall experience should be enjoyable enough that the kids themselves choose to be in the program.
We as parents and coaches are here to teach the kids skills to help them be better soccer players, but more importantly, better teammates. They will learn as much from our example as adults as they do in foot-skills drills. Help them learn and keep in mind that you are a role model more than you know.
It takes hundreds of volunteers sacrificing time from their own busy schedules to execute these soccer seasons. We rely on municipal fields and resources to play where we do. People drive great distances to play with us, referee our games, and train our kids. During the excitement of play, we cannot forget these gifts as the adrenaline might push us to overreact.
This is about kids playing and growing as people. Period. Don’t be the overzealous adult caught up in a bad moment, no matter who started it.
Growing as a player and person does not come without effort to improve. We are not babysitting. Our kids need to learn that rewards come from effort, not just attendance. There are lots of great activities kids can do. If they are going to take their time and volunteers’ time involved with soccer, we all deserve their full effort and attention.
Respect for teammates; opponents; parent volunteers; young referees learning the ropes on their first job; the community property we play on; the people who will use the field after us; the people also stuck in the traffic as we come and go en masse; … respect. It comes naturally when we take pride in our efforts and our community. The kids need to learn through observation of adult role models that mutual respect of each other leads to better times and more friends.