I am in some desperate need of help. I signed up 3 years ago now to help coach within the Youth Soccer Association. Since then i have coached my own division 1 team for a year now. I absolutely love my 4/5/6 year olds. They can be kind of crazy, but they make me laugh all the time. My own daughters got me involved in it. We have a 7 year old and a 5 year old that are involved with soccer. The 5 year old is just starting to come around and not poop out after a few minutes. My 7 year old, who turned so aggressive (in a good way) last fall, was moved up to division 2 this year due to her age and experience. Now that she is in the next level up she has lost all her interest in playing. She tells me now that she doesn't want to play. As a mom, i have told her that i feel that she signed up to play both seasons (spring and fall) and she should finish out the season and not "quit" on her teammates. Maybe i am being too rough on her, and i guess i need help with this. I don't want to turn her away from other options or from soccer in general. Maybe she really doesn't want to play right now. My thoughts to her not wanting to play are because she hasn't "scored a goal" yet. She is a good defensive player but at this age doesn't really understand that some kids are meant to play in the back and some up front, she is also a lot smaller than most kids in this division. How do i help her feel more comfortable, or do i just let her quit? i really don't want to keep saying you can't be a quitter, because i am feeling so guilty about that statement now, but what do i do? Her uncle coaches her team now and its not really easy for me to talk to him about what we can do with her. He doesn't really seem to be the type to build confidence either. Please please help me!! - mom in CT of 3.
Do not let her quit. It's not about "not being a quitter". Iknow what you mean by that but that phrase in-and-of-itself has nothing but a negative, confrontational context for kids. Explain that it is about responsibility and commitment. This is one of those tough times that a parent must do what is right for their child even though it is not easy.
Have a heart to heart in which you firmly declare that the fact is that she will finish out the season (s) that she committed to... and that being a fact now we can discuss what you do want to do once this commitment has been fulfilled... softball, basketball, running, dance, etc. I think we all agree that our kids need some sort of exercise and we can certainly introduce them to various activities but having them involved in the decision process is very important.
Do not forget to impress upon her that you are very glad to involve her in the decision process but to remember that once a commitment is give there is a responsibility to see it through.
Hopefully she comes around, enjoys what she is doing and picks wisely (with your help) for the next adventure but regardless... most of our kids wont become professional athletes but with our help they will be healthy, responsible, well rounded adults ... someday... now if I can just figure out how to get mine to hang up a wet towel...
Hi - I'm certainly no expert in anything but I was just wondering if it could be the social issue (she may have just made friends with the group that she was doing so well in and then they moved her up because of her skills- now she has to start all over again and she is younger than the rest of the girls). The other issue would be the fact that she was a star in the previous group and now it's harder to score because these girls are older and more skilled. Kids really just want to play the game and have fun. I read an article on the www.karldewazien.com website called "Creating the Passion" - it's in the middle of the Home page. It has some good points- there are other artilces there too that are good. Not sure about what to do now that she is on this new team. Maybe invite some team members over (slumber party or just during the afternoon) so that she can get to know them better. Girls need to bond and share experiences- this may help them want to pass to her and work together to make the team better. Perhaps they could set up some small sided games in the backyard make it a game with rewards, use cones (or upside down plastic pots) as a goal (about arms length apart) and have them play one vs one for 5 minutes- then have them count up the score. Just having fun together will help them get to know each other better and perhaps she will want to keep playing. Good luck and I hope she doesn't quit.
Hello, when I was small, I begged my parents to sign up for soccer (from about K to 1st). My mom finally signed me up, and I excelled at the sport just b/c I really wanted to be out there. After I got a little older (10 maybe), I got an invitation to sign up for a select (travel) team. In moving up to this level of play, I was physically the smallest kid on the team, and I also felt a lot of pressure. Consequently, my playing ability got much worse, and I didn't want to play anymore. My parents pulled me off the select team and put me back in recreation. My confidence really improved and I started to have fun again. I also (finally) grew, and I matched the size and stength of the other players. I then stepped back up to select and later went on to play in college.
Based on the experience I had, I am thinking that the most important thing is to try and figure out why your daughter has lost interest. Even though she is young, if you ask her how she is feeling and what she likes and does not like about soccer, you may learn the root of the problem. Anything she would share with you would give you insight (the parents shout mean things; the kids were teasing me about not scoring, etc.). You could then ease her concerns and address her issues.
If you know of any local high school or college players, you could have them as a guest at one of your practices to discuss team work to the group, and how every player on the field is very important and has their own job.
Unfortunately I would not let her quit. It is a good lesson to prepare her for future challenges in life. I would support her and listen to her feelings for the rest of the season to help see her through. Hoefully you can find the root and maybe she will want to continue playing in the future if you can ease her concern.
Good luck! She is lucky to have such a caring mother.
I am surprised at such a young age, that their are different competitive levels of soccer. I coach U6, U7, and U8 boys here in Georgia and we don't have competitive levels until U9 and U10. Then kids can decide if they want to play rec soccer (for the fun) or select soccer (travel soccer for competition). Is it possible that your daughter's feelings could stem from your coaching the younger team, and not her team. I agree with the other posters that she should stick with the team and not quit. I do have a suggestion; however, maybe you could have her help out as a "junior assistant" at some of your practices for the younger team. Helping to teach some of the younger players will also help reinforce some of her skills, and possibly give her a renewed interest in the sport from a different perspective. Good Luck!
Thank you all for your replies. I have explained to her the fact that she made the committment to the team and to the sport for the season. I think her main thing is that in the division itself there are a lot of "bigger" players. Last week she actually had a great game and i know she felt great about it. no goal (on her mind not mine) yet but she is a great defensive player that really hustled during that game. Then she goes to practice again and says she doesnt like it again. I really think its about scoring in her mind. Well for now we will just keep trying to keep up moral and tell her she is doing a great job. thanks for the comments they all made so much sense.