The Second Commandment for Parents


You know your child better than anyone. There are many coaches and every coach has a different style. Some are quiet, some are yellers, some are demanding, some laid back. Find the coach whose personality and coaching style mesh best with your child. 

After you have discussed with your child, what he wants, then your job starts. If your child wants to play with neighborhood buddies then look for a local club. There are numerous clubs, each with a slightly different philosophy. You can go to the websites and read about them. Here’s a newsflash. Don’t believe everything you read. Clubs are businesses that need your child to be successful. Please notice, clubs are not people, they are business entities.

The “people” part of a club starts with the coach. Every club has good coaches, average coaches and in some case, terrible coaches. It’s your job as a parent to weed them out. 

First, start by looking up the various coaches in your child’s age and skill level. From there, go and watch the coach during a game. See if the coaches philosophy of coaching fits your child’s need. Some coaches are very animated, others like to scream, some are silent, Observe. Most importantly bring your child along so they can see how the coach behaves.

When you have a list of a few coaches, or maybe less then a few, who fit your criteria, contact the coach and ask if the coach would be willing to have your child come and train with them. At this point it is very important that you say, “Would it be possible for Johnny to come to a practice and see if his skills would be beneficial to your team? And then you ask, “What can you do for my child?” You are asking for a favor with the first question and gaining knowledge with the second.  The coach doesn’t need to say yes or even respond. Most coaches, when treated with respect, are agreeable to this. There may be rules in you State Association making this difficult.  So ASK!

The coach will probably ask about your child, wanting to know what division your child currently plays and what team he plays for, and if your child has ever played against his team. These are perfectly reasonable questions so don’t take offense. Remember at this point the coach is going to evaluate your child not only in terms of your child’s abilities but also in terms of team dynamics. You, the parent, are not privy to the team dynamic so be respectful, regardless of the coaches decision. There are coaches who will accept your child to the team if it strokes their ego and they will take your child whether or not your child is a good fit or not. Coaches are humans and come in all types of packages.

That being said, there are some A-Hole coaches, just like in the general population, If you come across one of these, and they do not want your child, thank the heavens that you escaped. DO NOT ever let the opinion of one coach sway your determination to find you child the best team.

IF you receive the same type of feedback from numerous coaches know they are probably right. If they say your child isn’t ready to play at a certain level, believe them. Find a place for your child to train outside of the club environment, IF you child is willing. 

At this point in your journey, your child will tell you what he wants. LISTEN TO HIM! You can not read your child’s mind and just because you love soccer doesn’t necessarily translate to your child loving the game enough to forego other things. But always remember, children should be playing more than one sport. It's good for them mentally and physically