Spring soccer season is here (or about to be). There are ways to be a great soccer Mom (or Dad) … and ways to be not so great. Since my husband is an assistant coach for our son’s team, I can give you the inside scoop of what parents should do for their kids.
Talk to your child about the commitment. The league our son plays in has practice once a week and a game every Saturday. It’s definitely about as low of a commitment as you can get and that works for all of us. My son knows he has to go, though, and he looks forward to it. But if there’s rain, cold, whatever … suck it up. He’s made the commitment to the team, so he’s gotta go.
Get your kid the proper gear. Make sure the cleats fit well, plus mandatory shin guards, and get some soccer socks. These will help your child play the game. She can focus on moving around the field, instead of whether or not that big kid is gonna kick him or that her feet hurt.
Early is on time. Show up 10 to 15 minutes before practice and the game. Kids rushing in at the last minute always delays practice. Coming in late on game day means the coaches are trying to figure out the lineup and who will play where. Besides, dashing in is stressful to your child and makes it harder for them to be ready for kick-off.
The snack thing. There’s often an email chain about who provides snacks for what week. Someone’s gotta cut the orange slices for halftime and buy the cookies or mini-donuts for after the game. If you sign up, make sure you’re on top of it. As the kids get older, consider dropping the snack thing all together and let each player bring whatever they want or need. (And yes, I’d like to see people ditch the sweets entirely. I much prefer healthy snacks.)
Respect authority. We have to teach our kids to respect the coaches, the referees, and the opponent. I see quite a bit of back-talking from the players when they don’t get to be the position they want or the ref makes a call against them. This isn’t okay. You should be talking to your kids about proper decorum and chain of command; skills they can use later in life.
Proper sportsmanship. Playing as a team, working with people that maybe you don’t really like, celebrating victories together, being gracious if you win or lose. Proper sportsmanship is crucial for their futures. It’s not just a game, it’s how we teach our kids to interact with others that will last a lifetime.
And you, dear soccer Mom, how about showing up for a game now and then? Don’t just dump the kid at the field and take off to run errands. Support your child for at least a game or two during the season (especially if playoffs happen) and let them know you care about health and fitness too.
What would you add to this list? Or what resonated most with you?