Coach Cruz (Cruz Coaching) Breaks Down How Soccer Parents Can Instill Confidence In Their Kids
By: Cruz Coaching
If you don't know who I am, here is a quick summary. I am a soccer social media influencer, skills coach, and father to 2 daughters with over ten years of youth soccer coaching experience. Over my years of youth coaching, I have helped many players overcome fear and self-doubt that has taken their game to higher levels. Many parents that have sought out my training have a very similar problem, a lack of confidence. This article aims not to reveal my methods but to guide parents on getting the best athletic performance from their kids.
BE THEIR PARENT, NOT THEIR COACH
Why pay a bunch of money to a club or trainer to coach your child if you're going to coach them anyways? Players listen to their coaches' advice rather than their parents mainly because of their experience or background. They need to detach and separate the two—this separation decreases the player's anxiety and increases their openness with you. Let's look at it this way; you wouldn't like it if your employers were in your house telling you what to do and how to do it. Being an effective soccer parent will require you to be their support system. After games or training, you should ask questions about how they feel and reassure them with affirmations about how much you enjoyed watching them play—nothing else. You can save criticism for later, and we will dive into that topic as well
GIVE MORE PRAISE TO THEIR EFFORTS
Who doesn't like a little praise? "Champions believe in themselves, and that starts with others believing in them first," says sports psychologist Dr. Roberta Kraus, Ph.D. "Praising effort can give kids a strong foundation in self-belief. You can't control results, but you can control how you train and compete. Before kids possess the abilities or mindset to win, they must believe in their ability to work, learn, and grow. Once they recognize they are in control of their effort, they will believe in their ability to win when the chance presents itself in the competition."
ALLOW MORE INDIVIDUAL DECISION MAKING
Offering advice or guidance to help your kid sway their decision can go a long way. It gives them a feeling of control over their lives and puts more trust in their heart for you.
LIMIT CRITICISM AND OFFER MORE SUPPORT
Criticism can be good or bad, and this is why we must use it correctly. Have you ever been critiqued to a point where everything you did was either judged or knit-picked?
Here is an example: Your son comes off the field after playing a game, and he looked a bit sluggish today, not his usual self.
Parent: Son, how was the game today?
Child: It was okay. We lost in the end.
Parent: It's okay. I did feel like you were a bit sluggish today.
Child: Yes, I didn't feel like myself
Parent: That's okay. I believe in you, and we will try to get some extra rest before the next game to make sure your energy levels are high. I love you
Child: Okay, I love you too
ALLOW THEM TIME TO PROCESS
Now, this goes back to criticism, correcting, and allowing kids to process the game. Players need space and time to process their failure alone sometimes. Have you ever been in a heated argument with your spouse, and you need to leave the room to cool down or process the next steps? Well, kids need this space as well, and you have a chance to allow that space to think and let them open up to you when they are ready. The more you allow them this space, the more they are likely to open up to you.
HELP THEM SET EXPECTATIONS OR CHALLENGES
For any athlete wanting to excel in their performance, having expectations of yourself is essential. Kids should challenge themselves, and you have a vital part to play. Allowing your child to have expectations for themselves is a good thing; you can enhance this by supporting them and providing them with challenges to push them through. Giving them this freedom builds more confidence and drive to perform at a higher standard.
INVITE COMMUNICATION, NOT FRUSTRATION
Inviting communication is more about you listening and trying to understand how your child feels. The more love and compassion you show will give them the comfort to talk. Talking to them with frustration will only dilute their confidence. Kids love to please their parents and want to see them happy, so you have to allow them that opportunity to do so, whether or not if they fail. They should feel like they can come to you after the game or training without being angry with the performance. I highlighted the word performance because a player's attitude and behavior tie into their performance on some occasions but not necessarily. I feel that's a different topic for a separate blog.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES AND PARENT THE NEGATIVES
Negativity can run rampant, and most times unconsciously. People, in general, tend to see the negatives first before addressing the positives. When coaching, I had to be conscious about giving feedback because it all comes down to tone and structure. You can accomplish better results by pointing out the positives you noticed and then using the negatives as an opportunity to acknowledge improvement and growth.
Here are two examples of how to communicate effectively with your child after a challenging game:
Example 1: "Alex, you played some excellent passes today, and you had some tremendous 1v1 battles. Maybe you can put in some extra shooting practice at training this week, and you can get a goal or two in the next game. I'm proud of you."
Example 2: "Alex, I feel like this wasn't one of your best games today. You had a few good moments, but it's okay you did well in many other areas. You worked hard, and I am proud of you. We can talk about more later. Good job."
EVERYTHING YOU SAY MATTERS
Whether it's on the sideline or the car ride home, whatever you say will have an impact on your child. You may not agree with some of the coach's tactics, and you decide to criticize him on the way home. Now you may think it's nothing to worry about, but your kind has just soaked in the information that may leave them conflicted. If the information were negative, it would likely have a trickle-down effect on the player. The player will start thinking less of the coach, leading to a lack of focus in training and a desire to listen and learn.
We live in a time where kids have too much information at their disposal, and they are learning and growing even faster. As the times are changing, the old way of parenting is also evolving, and as devoted parents, we must adjust.
In this article, I identified several skills that you can utilize that will help you become a better soccer parent and make your child as confident as they can be. I hope this insight suits you well and helps build a stronger bond with your kids their soccer with whichever sport they play.
Find more at here: https://cruzcoaching.net/
Page Updated Last on: Nov 24, 2021