Have you ever noticed how the things you say, or how you think or feel about something tends to end up being how your child thinks, feels, or talks about that same thing? This is just another incredible responsibility that falls on the shoulders of us parents. I mean we can say it, parenting can be so tough at times. It is such a big deal because we are quite literally shaping and molding our children! I think we can probably all think back to times where we are scrambling for that mystical “Parenting Manual” that must exist somewhere! Please, let me know if you find it! Parenting isn’t easy because of those young eyes on us all the time! With four children of my own I can tell you some embarrassing stories about things my little ones repeated that maybe I wouldn’t have wanted repeated…have you ever been there? Looking your child in the eyes before the big Holiday Gathering and saying, “Hey, whatever you do…DO NOT repeat what Mommy and Daddy were talking about on the car ride here.” They nod in agreement and walk into the house and happily announce to everyone in the room that they are not supposed to say anything about this or that and then reveal the thing that they weren’t supposed to talk about in front of the family! AGH!
So why bring up your influence and how the things you tend to think, feel, and say become the very things that your children tend to think, feel, and say in Blog for a Soccer Club? Well it’s because this influence you have on your child isn’t limited to things outside of the sports arena! How you think, feel, and talk about your child’s soccer play, team, coach, and club is coming out in your children as well. This can be a tremendously positive thing, but all too often it leads to tension points for your child and others on the team and in the club. If you are supportive and enjoy the coaching, and other players and their families, and are talking that way to your child it reflects into your child’s perspectives and attitude and flows all the way into team dynamics and their play on the field. But the opposite is true too. If you are upset, or critical of everything from the coaching, to other children on the team and how they play and act, and are talking in front of and with your child about all the negative things you see, it comes out in your child as well. If it goes this way it can hurt your child’s play, but also weaken team dynamics and your child’s ability to be coached as well. This happens far too often, and let’s just say it doesn’t end well…and most parents never realize they are the catalyst for such things…both good and bad!
This is why our first two blog posts were on getting in step with our club and coaches, and also on "the 5 most important words you can say to your child." (I love watching you play!) It is also why I would like to spend the next few posts working our way through the club’s core values one at a time. They matter, and when we parents reflect these values, our children will also reflect these values on and off the field! Which could be huge! So let’s talk for a moment about our mission statement, and this first core value for us parents…which is “Positive.”
Keystone FC Parent Mission Statement – to develop high quality soccer parents who understand and reflect the mission and core values of our club.
· Club Core Values: competition - confident - commitment - team first - positive
· Parents Reflect those Values: positive - team first - commitment - confident - competition
Our First Discussion - Positive - Parents who support and build into our players, coaches, and club.
So this is where we need to take a look in the mirror for a moment. Are you reflecting positivity when you are around your child’s soccer training, games, team, and club? If you are not sure, that's ok! I want you to answer a couple questions that can help you see if you are reflecting this Core Value or not.
· When was the last time your entire conversation with your child about their soccer play was this sentence? “I love watching you play?”
· When was the last time you said something positive about your coach?
· Are you able to see positives and improvement in your child’s game and do you talk about those things with your child, or just focus on what they need to improve on?
· Are you able to see the positives in the other players on your child’s team, or do you constantly compare them to your child or critique their game? Maybe the better question would be, could you walk up to them or their parents and compliment something they did well?
· Are you able to see the positives in the efforts your coach is making in training and games or are you evaluating their tactics, timing their substitutions to the second, and questioning their decisions?
· When was the last time you said “Thank You” to your coach or to a club leader for all they do for your child and for so many other children?
· When it comes to your club do you focus on the positives or do you find and focus on the negatives? You need to realize there will be positives and negatives in any club, organization, team, or structure because there are people in them! So what do you focus on, the good or the bad?
Listen, I am not saying you need to be bubbly and happy all the time…I’m certainly not that guy either. I know for me there just isn’t enough coffee on the planet to get me there! But what we must understand as Soccer Parents is that our words, our attitudes, and our perspectives are reflecting into our children. Which if you stop and think about it means you play a major role in your child’s experience from how they interact with their teammates, to their ability or inability to be coached by their coach, which all flows into how they play in training and games.
Please take some time to think these questions through. Ask yourself, "Am I reflecting this first Core Value? Am I being positive or am I focused on all the wrong things?" This is important because it’s reflecting into your child’s attitude, perspectives, team dynamics, and play.
We will see you in two weeks when we talk about the next Club Core Value that we want to reflect which is “TEAM FIRST!”