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 the Workings of the Local Organizations
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.
Well Organized Leagues Have the Following:
• 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 to conduct agreements. Codes must be signed by the appropriate individuals.
Parents may want to give careful consideration to whether they should enroll their children in a league that does not provide some literature.
Attent All League Orientation Meetings
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 lineup 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.
Be Sure to Ask the Important Questions
These are examples from
FUNdamental SOCCER Guide
Using a maximum number of clever illustrations and a minimum number of words, this 111-page book GUIDES you into the world of youth soccer. Receive detailed information on the role of the participants: Players; Officials; Coach; Manager, and Parents. Both attacking and defending techniques, as well as the Laws of the Game, are thoroughly covered. This is a must-read book for anyone involved in youth soccer.
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