What if your kid wants to play soccer and you’ve never played? What if you once made fun of the game and now your little darling is about to take the field? And why can’t you get behind the defense–isn’t that the idea? How can you introduce, enhance or implement that competitive fire in my little one? How easy is it to get college money?
While most parents are brought into soccer as an ‘introductory’ sport because it has a VERY early starting age and seems easy (to the unwashed), you might just mess around and fall in love with it. The game is really beautiful. I have grown to love it through my children though soccer was barely even in existence in my neck of the woods as a kid. The game is part happy after-school special, part life lesson, and part Lifetime reality show to happen. I played many youth sports long-engrained in the mindset of middle America, but soccer is a bit unique. I wasn’t ready for it. I screwed it up. Don’t be like me.
Here’s what you need to know before getting started.
- It’s OK that you don’t know anything. It’s not OK to think that you do. Just know your kid and love em.
- Don’t approach this with a High School Football mindset (that was me), thinking about goals, wins, the best team, trophies and all that. While you scoff that you would never do such a thing, way too many of you will.
- Be deliberate about what you want your little darling to get out of this. Here are my critical few items to consider.
- Understand your role as a parent of a kid being introduced to the sport. Read more on that here: They can’t pee on the soccer field.
- I cannot begin to tell you how fast this moves and you don’t get these days back, so suck the marrow out of the experience. Here are some pro tips to do that.
- Get into it (in a healthy way) and have fun, but always remember–this is not about you. It will never be about you. Ever.
For some reason, after over 15 years of investing time, money, and more money into this activity, I find parents really don’t understand how it all works. And the more they hear soccer people explain it, the less they understand. So, as a parent of two kids that took the game from rec to college offers, one to D1 all-conference selections and both to more important things than sports, I felt I had info that might help others. I realize not all leagues, clubs, schools, and kids are the same, and not all areas of our country have the same issues, but I’ll bet you’ll find more in common with me than not.
So, dig into this blog and get the help you need to make the most of this. After all, your kids are worth it and it really is a beautiful game.