For children that play football, their parents play a critical role in their development.  Parents should examine whether they are supporting their children’s development or hindering it.

It is a fact, and we have seen the extremes, from the raving and ranting parents on the side-line as well as the parent who does not even show up to any of their children’s football games. Fortunately the majority of parents have good intentions and just want the best for their child. 

This might seem contradictory, but at First Touch we want our players to make mistakes as this is how they learn.  There is so much focus on mastering the skills and winning matches and often players puts themselves out there to take risks.

Children wants the approval of their coaches and their parents, they need to know that you encourage and applaud the fact that they try, even when they fail.  Ultimately children do not fail, they learn something from that moment that will help them grow as a football player.

With regular practice and training, kids learn to be brave and when it is best to dribble and when it is best to pass the ball without hesitation or fear. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their game and their development as a player.

Children should be the one to approach the coach if they have any concerns or question, this will teach your child a number of lessons that can be applied to their life on and off the field.

It is important for parents to engage with their children in a conversation about the skills or ideas that they are learning and what they find challenging.  This can also help your child to set personal goals in their own development.

Parents should bear in mind, while attending one of their child’s football matches and standing on the side-line screaming “Shoot It” or “Pass It”, these directions can cause anxiety for a player already under pressure, in fact it may even directly contradict what their coach has instructed them to do. It is best to try and stick to encouragement and cheering, especially if you have engaged with your child in the development process and you are aware that your child is working on a specific move during training and maybe building confidence in using their left foot.  If you see your child doing this during the game, cheer them and let them know you saw them doing it.

In conversation after the game with your child, try to avoid telling them what they did wrong, as the child already knows what he did wrong as it is likely that their coach or a teammate has already told them. The best thing you could tell your child after a game is how much you enjoyed watching them and try picking out some things they did that you know they have been working on.

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