Today we continue our conversation on our Core Values by looking at our third value that we want to reflect as parents which is “Commitment.” Commitment is interesting because as parents we have a lot of them don’t we? We have many things that occupy our time and that we are responsible for. We have things to do, bills to pay, and many different types and levels of commitment in our lives, which can make this one a little challenging and probably leads to a question that is an important one for us soccer parents! What would it look like for us parents to reflect this value of commitment? It’s a good question and an important one for us soccer parents as we do our best to build into this experience for our children.
So, let’s take another look at our Mission Statement and Core Values. We have talked about the first value which was “Positive”, and the second which is “Team First.” Now today we tackle an interesting one which is, “Commitment.” So here's our parental mission statement and our core values.
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
So the question we are engaging today may not be one you have ever asked yourself when it comes to your child’s extracurricular activities. I mean it makes sense for the club leaders and coaches to be committed to the team, club, and to your child’s development as a player. It also makes sense for our children to be committed to the team, because they are the ones playing the game! But it is also important that we parents are committed as well. Does that sneak up on you a little? Well we have learned in past discussions that we parents are actually part of this team, building into our children’s experience and this value and our ability to reflect it will add or subtract from the health of the team. It can make our coaches and club leaders lives easier, or that much harder, and can also influence our child’s passion and ability to be part of the team…or not.
So let’s dive into this question by looking at three ways we parents can reflect this value of commitment. Here’s the question we want to ask ourselves as soccer parents.
What would it look like for us parents to reflect this value of commitment?
First – Stay Active and Engaged – You know as our children get older and can drive themselves around this may change a little, but it’s important that we parents stay active and engaged. It’s so difficult on the team and coach when a parent has no idea what is going on. We need to take the time to read our coaches emails. Take the time to read and listen to our club leadership and understand the goals our teams and club have for our children. I know you have a lot going on, but part of commitment is being in this with our children. Make sure they are ready for games and trainings! Set them up ahead of time with rest, make sure they have been hydrating and ready to roll on gameday. Know where you need to be for games and then be there on time. Know what uniform kit your child should be in…respond to emails, and let your coach know your child’s availability. Just stay in it with your leaders and the team, staying active and engaged makes all the difference! Think about your own job for a moment. How does it go when your teams respond and are in it with you in the workplace, the environment is just better isn’t it? Think about your own family situation and how frustrating it is to hear a "maybe" every time you try to make a plan. These aren’t difficult things to do, read emails, click "yes" or "no" on Team Snap; and understand what your team is up to and the goals your team, coach, and club has for your child individually and for the team! This goes a long way to being a parent who reflects the value of “Commitment.”
Second – Understand the number one “ability” is “Availability!” – Listen, there will always be times when other things pop up, but we need to understand that regardless of how strong your child’s abilities are in the game, they don’t matter much if they aren’t there. Make the commitment to have your child at trainings and games…a huge way to reflect this value of commitment is to “be there!” The number one ability is Availability. Now, this is not to say your child can’t play other sports or do other things, but it’s important in team building to be part of things! Not being there sends a message to the rest of the team. Do things happen, yes! Are there things that take a higher priority in life than sports, absolutely! But it's important that in those rare moments we communicate clearly and move on…but it is so tough on a coach and also on a team when someone is half in and half out. What does it say when you and your player aren’t there? What does it say when you are? How does the team feel when you no show? You and your player are part of a team! Stay in it with them. There isn’t a coach out there, that would disagree with the statement about ability. The number one ability is availability! You could be Leo Messi level talent wise, and it doesn’t matter much to your coach or team if you aren't there!
Third – STOP LOOKING AROUND! – We live in a time where we know what every club, organization, and league is up to just by picking up our phones and hitting Instagram or Facebook. In this world of social media, we see a million options for everything we do, and it’s no different when it comes to soccer. We see what the DA’s, ECNL’s, EDP’s, and ODP’s, ADP's, EPYSA’s and whatever other initials we can think of are doing all the time…not to mention all the clubs around us who for some reason only show you the best of what is happening in their own organizations! :)
This makes a couple sayings come to mind…like "the grass is always greener," or "when the going get tough, the tough get going!"
Parents, to reflect this core value of commitment, we need to make the decision that our child is in this club and on this team for a reason and even in the tension points we must commit to the team and make the effort to engage and make it better. Maybe the best way to reflect this value is to stop looking around at every other club, and team that your child could be a part of and see where you are as an opportunity. Stop following other clubs and maybe even parents on social media that are only showing you the best parts of what their teams are up to. If it makes you restless, hit the “unfollow” button and move on! Stop scanning the web for results. Take a break from watching the Gotsoccer rankings and tourneys that others are doing and engage the awesome opportunity right in front of you with your current team and club. Looking around, only brings more tension and restlessness to us parents. Will everything go perfectly for your child at this club and on their team? No! There is no perfect situation out there with people in it, but too many of us parents are looking for the next great opportunity, or just constantly looking for a better option or fit for our child. Sometimes it’s just about making it easier on them which I’m not sure is helping their development either. I’m not saying that there is not a time for change, but I’m telling you with all those options and all the posts about how great it is somewhere else comes a real restlessness…and then the next time something tough happens, we are ready to jump ship…this is the opposite of “Commitment.”
If this is a struggle for you, it’s time to stop following all the clubs, and DA’s and ECNL’s of the world, and just start to enjoy and invest in the environment you are already in! Is it challenging at times? Yes! Will there be tensions points in it? Absolutely. But maybe we could look at that struggle or tension point as an opportunity to make it better, rather than another reason to jump ship. STOP LOOKING AROUND! Every club has good and bad things in it…every team deals with tensions points. There is no perfect environment that has people in it, and I think many times in an effort to ease tension, we decide something is better or maybe easier somewhere else, we end up cheating ourselves and our children of valuable life lessons as we hop club to club and look for an easier or better option.
So, what does it look like to be a parent who reflects this core value of commitment? Well its starts with a mindset and engaging these three concepts. Stay active and engaged with the team and club. Understand the number one ability is availability. And stop looking around, eliminate all the other options around you, click the “unfollow” button if you have to and begin to look at your team and club as a place you are at for a reason! When you see tension and challenges view them as opportunities to grow for both your child and for you!
Thanks everyone, we will see in you two weeks when we look at our next core value we should reflect which is “Confident” which really if you think about it ties into this discussion quite well! See you in two weeks and Happy New Year!