Your child loves football and they can’t wait for the next training session. Yes, we know, they are the next big thing in the world of football and you want that to continue that way. But wait, no matter how successful or promising he is, these six steps will save you time and energy when dealing with difficult issues.
1. Establish a value system that they will accept and follow
What you should do first is work on the value system of the child. Make sure they know what honesty, fair play and hard work mean and that integrity, resilience, teamwork, kindness and commitment are the core values in the culture of football. Never award them if they haven’t deserved it and normally, “punish” them when they do something really wrong. Now, we don’t mean harsh punishments and great prizes, but rather subtle and symbolical ones. Whatever happens, the important thing for them is to always stay humble.
2. Support them in any way, especially morally
Do your best to keep your children engaged and active, but without burdening them with your expectations. Encourage them to develop their own magic, through self-determination, dedication, desire and by developing a healthy, competitive mindset. This is how you form a solid foundation for their further life choices and experiences. Also help them to find happiness in football emphasizing that success is their performance, not the outcome of the game.
3. Develop the leader in them
Being a successful young player is an opportunity to be a leader. Players naturally look up to the top performers, and it is never too young to start teaching your child basic leadership. Remind them that being a leader comes with responsibility. Team captain is not just about flipping a coin and picking which side you will defend first. It is about making your teammates better, positively inspiring them and helping them to overcome mistakes.
4. Let them have a normal childhood
Always remember that you are the adult and they are the child. You will need to keep perspective and life in balance. And never forget that those are not mini adults out there, but children, and they need us to lead, guide and inspire them to not only be great players, but also happy and careless children. According to a FA survey: kids said that the most common reasons for them training football were, not winning the league or trophies, but trying their hardest, because it’s fun, it’s a great game and they love it. First and foremost, football is supposed to be fun and that’s why it’s called a “game.”
You as a parent play a greater role in the process than you think. Be careful since there is always a fine line between encouraging and supporting your children in sports and having extreme, sometimes unrealistic, expectations.
5. Teach them to lose
Yes, your child will lose, probably 70% of the games?! So, you need to teach them how to view failure in a different light and make mistakes okay in his mind. That way, they can stay composed and play in the present. As a result of this they can feel more comfortable taking risks, which are the key to growing and learning.
Teach them that mistakes are learning opportunities. The team that makes the most mistakes will probably win. These are kids who make things happen, and your child should be one of them. And, why? Because they take risks. And bounce back and move on after mistakes.
6. Practise makes perfect
Make sure your child attends the practice. Most of the meaningful work is done there. If your child does not come to practice regularly then they won’t learn. Kids who come to practice learn through repetition. Not coming to practice will impact your child’s playing time, further hurting his development…and the development of his teammates. Experts or professionals are not born that way. They get that way through thousands of hours of play, practice, exposure and training. Just because a child is a good athlete in general doesn’t mean they’ll be a great football player. Expertise and developed skill is a result of focused attention, practice and training.
As we can see, football is like life. If you follow these steps, not only your child is going to be the new Messi, but you will raise them to be a successful and happy individual who will exercise freedom and understand responsibility and expectations, not only in football but in life as well.
And remember, if they are good enough, the agents will definitely find them.
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