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||TOPIC: What Kind of Soccer Parent Am I?
||Coach Dave Allen|
September 12, 2011
Entry #: 3798301
|With the fall soccer season kicking off, an entirely new age group joins the wild and wonderful world of youth soccer. With many of those rookie players will come rookie soccer parents. |
As a grizzled veteran of watching and coaching soccer games for over a dozen years, I have not only seen the good, the bad and the ugly parents, but will also admit to being the good, the bad and the ugly parent at different times.
As you attend these games I ask you to stop and think to yourself…What kind of soccer parent am I?
Like many new parents I had my video camera in tow when my youngest daughter, now a college freshman, was first lacing up the studs to do battle as an intramural player, I believe her 1st opponent was the feared Pink Barbies, sponsored by one of the local bagel stores. I recently stumbled across a tape of one of her “matches” from that era. The only thing that tainted these emotionally moving images was the incessant and loud screaming of the dad, the one holding the camera…me. I was pretty embarrassed by the tape. I didn’t say anything foul or inappropriate I was just the LOUD DAD, yelling lots of instructions. Maybe the other parents were just as loud, I hope no one noticed. But, I am sure they did.
When she got older I became the MEDDLING DAD. I can recall an indoor tournament in the 4th grade when I felt the need to tell her coaches what they were doing wrong and how they could correct what was happening. After all, I had played the game all the way through high school, they could certainly benefit from my expertise. The coaches allowed me to address the team in between games in what I realized much later was probably an attempt to get me off their back. It was a nice gesture, they could have told me to be quiet and get back with the other parents, but they were too nice for that.
When her travel team folded and many of the players left with the coach to another town, I became the ANGRY DAD. Lashing out at the same coach who had done nothing but be a supportive, nurturing and wonderful guy to my not so always appreciative little angel for the past few years. I didn’t know the full story, never even asked, I just lost my head. A year or so later I learned the true story and made a face to face apology to the coach, which I am happy to say he accepted.
It was about this time that I began coaching my younger daughter and started to see the error of my ways. The turning point for me as a parent was when I was coaching an intramural game for my younger daughter in 2nd Grade. It was a very hot day, maybe 150 degrees and we were shorthanded. We were losing 5-0 at halftime, my goalkeeper was sure she was suffering from heatstroke and my girls were pooped. I was angry that the coach of the other team seemed to be showing no mercy. I felt terrible for the girls. I told them that after the game I would treat them all at the ice cream truck in the parking lot, which really perked them up. Of course there was no miracle comeback, but at least the opposing coach heeded my request to stop scoring. My girls looked like they were going to collapse when the final whistle blew. I was still fuming mad when the girls lined up to shake hands. But then I heard them chanting louder and louder as they high fived the other team…WE GET ICE CREAM, WE GET ICE CREAM, WE GET ICE CREAM!!! They could care less about being exhausted they had no problem summoning the energy to get to the Ice Cream Truck at all. They didn’t care about winning, losing or even the score. They just cared about the Ice Cream…that was an AHA moment for me.
It has taken years to become the parent/coach I am today. Far from perfect, after all I did get my 1st yellow card last season at a travel game I was coaching. Even if the parents on my team roared in approval, I know it was wrong. But, today I am much more patient, tolerant and understanding. I have been able to put the game into its proper perspective at least as what I see its proper perspective to be for me. You’ll have to make that decision for yourself.
I have seen over the years, for better or for worse that some parents change & some parents don’t. For those of you who are new, I ask you to step outside of yourself or ask your spouse to be an objective observer and ask…
- Am I running up and down the sidelines screaming like a lunatic?
- Am I cheering only for my kid?
- Do I care who wins this game & if so why?
- Do I think I am a better coach than the coach?
- Do I think I am a better ref than the 6th grade ref?
- Do I care that the coach just put the biggest daisy picker on defense?
- Am I freaked out that my kid IS the biggest daisy picker?
- Am I giving my kid tips on how to play the game every chance I get?
- Are the other parents willing to stand within 20 feet of me?
- Am I critiquing my 5 year olds performance on the way home in the car?
- Am I forcing my child to watch the English Premier League Games instead of Spongebob?
And most important…Did we hit up the Ice Cream truck on the way out?
Good Luck to us all!!!
September 13, 2011
Entry #: 3799064
|Wow, some super ideas to think about for all of us.|
Saw this link that seems to run in synch, it's addressed for kids only ....
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