Soccer has become a mass phenomenon and the number of children participating in the world game is growing exponentially. A famous Darwin once suggested survival of the fittest and it looks like soccer has adopted and taken hold of the younger generation.
However, the statistics clearly show that 78% of children playing soccer will quit the game before they become teenagers. Can anyone explain this?
To suggest this statistic exists because of one factor would be naïve and ignorant. So what gives?
Has the game changed? Not since the last time I checked. Are kids losing interest in the game? Statistics clearly show the opposite and kids are drawn to soccer like moths to a light bulb. So why the massive exodus?
Could it be the soccer parents? Could it be the soccer dads and soccer mums that place unreasonable pressures on their young players?
It may be a surprise to you, but often it’s the things you don’t do that will help keep your child in the game, rather than direct assistance or intervention. Under no circumstance should you discourage your child with harsh criticism, ridicule or even abuse. Abuse you might question? Yelling at your child is a form of abuse don’t you think?
As soccer parents it’s your duty to protect your child’s dream and new found enthusiasm for the game. Don’t be the reason why your child will quit the game before puberty.
Based on years of experience I would like to offer this advice to parents who with best intentions in the world, take on the responsibility of helping their children launch a soccer career. Make sure they have fun! That’s it! Pretty easy if you ask me.
Unless you’ve played the game or been involved in the game, it’s a good idea to allow the experts train your children. They have the patience and the required skills to teach your kids the basics and to allow them to have fun.
To cut a long story short, the best advice I can offer soccer parents is this, watch from a distance, smile and be proud of your children and future soccer stars.