We tell our children, “Do not talk to strangers!” Then we turn around and hand our child over to (in many cases) a total stranger. We justify our actions by assuming that this ‘stranger’ is qualified because he/she has been given the title ‘soccer coach’ by someone in the local soccer association. A stranger to us, but they have been approved by the local soccer board (yet another group of strangers).

Consider and choose carefully the proper sports environment for your children. It is your duty, as a parent, to take the time to get to know as many of the people as possible before handing your child over to them.

get to know

Before you enroll your player in a particular league, remember the needs of your child. They like to play, learn, and have FUN!

Begin judging if your child should become involved in a soccer organization by observing and listening to these leaders. You must feel comfortable that the board’s overall goals and your goals for your child are compatible.

Help yourself by taking into consideration the number of times words such as ‘children, fun and development’ or ‘winning, trophies and travel’ are used. Then, make a conscious decision if the environment proposed fits the standards you want for your child.

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Most-important

MOST IMPORTANT

• Code of Conduct for players, parents, coaches, officials, and administrators

Code of Ethics for administrators, coaches, officials, parents, and players

These codes should be used as educational tools as well as conduct agreements. Codes must be signed by the appropriate individuals.

Parents may want to give careful consideration as to whether they should enroll their children in a league that does not provide some literature.

Get to know league officers

Remember:

• be courteous, enthusiastic, and yourself

• ask questions and listen

• listen and ask questions

• Smile, and offer to help!

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Make every effort to cooperate with the officers. They are usually volunteers who are interested in helping young people!

Attend all meetings

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Approach these meetings with the proper attitude. Your goal is to learn and build relationships that will benefit you and your child. This is not about grilling to assure that your child will always be in the starting line up on a winning team.

Learn more about the coach of your child’s team. Become a good listener and encourage the coach to talk more about themselves. Ask about their philosophy is on Development vs. Winning. Ask how you can help!

Parents may want to give careful consideration to enrolling their children in a league that does not provide a league orientation meeting.

important questions

How much will it cost? What does this amount cover? Are there any hidden costs?

How does this affect medical insurance? When is the money due? Is there financial assistance available?

Concerned leagues make provisions so that all children are able to participate regardless of their ability to pay.

Questions

Next – Learning Together