Today we continue our conversation on our Core Values by looking at the fourth value that we want to reflect as parents which is “confidence.” Confidence is a big deal for a player and leads to success on and off the field. But for us parents, this is the most important value because when we have it, we can relax and enjoy watching our children play and grow in the game. It’s also the most contagious value for us because when we have it, it will flow out of us and into our players and teams. I wonder if that surprises you to hear that the most important value for us parents is confidence? Listen, there are many challenges and tension points that we parents face as our child plays a team sport. Especially a sport like soccer where many things aren’t as measured as they are in other sports. We can struggle with things like playing time, what position our child plays on the field, to all the things that competition can squeeze out of us along the way. We want our child to have the best experience possible, and most of the time it’s hard for us to understand why they play a certain position…or why the playing time is what it is…or why our coach or club is making the decisions they are making. This is where reflecting this core value comes into play and is so important.
Confidence is the key to you enjoying your experience as a soccer parent! I want you to see that your ability to be confident or not is all about trust. When you can trust that the club and the coach are making decisions with your child’s best interest in mind (even if those decisions aren’t exactly what you want), you can relax and enjoy the game and your time around it.
This is what we are diving into today because most of our parental stress and tension comes from our inability to find this value! When we are confident in our coach, club, and can trust the process we can find peace and enjoy watching our child and their team grow in the game. We can relax and just be a mom or a dad because we believe in our leaders! But I’m getting a little ahead of myself! Let’s take another look at our Mission Statement and Core Values. Do you remember our mission statement and goal as Keystone parents?
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
You know there are things in life that we are good at and things that we just aren’t good at or haven’t been trained to do. Which is why we need people that we trust in different areas of our life. I know for me I can feel pretty helpless when my car breaks down, and it makes me really thankful for a mechanic that I trust, because when I pop the hood of my car, I don’t know what I’m looking at but I do know that my family needs that transportation! I will tell you one of my least favorite time of the year is tax season, which is why I’m very thankful for my accountant who I can trust! Over the holiday’s this year we had a big plumbing issue in our home which is a real treat with 4 teenagers, and no water for a while! It wasn’t something I was able to fix and we have found that having water and functional plumbing is a good thing! So, we were all very thankful for a plumber who we could trust to get the work done well! What’s funny is when it comes to the mechanic or accountant or the plumber we aren’t pacing back and forth behind them while they work. We aren’t questioning every decision they make. We don’t labor over every turn of the wrench or button pushed on the calculator, well maybe we do with the accountant some at tax time! But we step back and let them get their work done! I think this happens for a couple off reaons. First, we are faced with the reality that we have no concept of what they are doing, but really need it done and done well. And the other thing is that we probably have done the research and found people that we trust to do the things for us that we need done and done well!
When we find the people, we can trust to do these types of things, it’s a great feeling isn’t it? Well, the flip side is true too, it is really a helpless feeling to not have people we trust doing these things for us as well.
What is funny is we can trust the process in those areas, but when it comes to our children’s and sports, we often don’t view things this way. We struggle to find confidence or trust in our coach and leaders at times and I think it’s something we need to really look at today! And no I’m not comparing your child to a well pump, a W-2 form, or the engine of a car. But let’s talk it out, it’s one thing when it’s the engine of the car, or the well pump for the home, or even our taxes…but it’s so tough when it’s our child! Why? It is because we care so much about them! We want them with the right people, in the healthiest environment and we want them happy and enjoying what they are doing because we love them that much! Our ability to reflect this core value of confidence goes a long way into all of those things actually happening for our child…or not. Do you see what I’m getting at here today?
So, let me ask you a few questions and we will talk for a moment or two about this. Remember this is the most important and the most contagious value we have!
·Are you a sideline stalker? You know what I mean, do you pace the sidelines at games and trainings evaluating every touch and decision happening on the pitch?
·Do you stress over where your child plays? Frustrated that another child plays the striker spot while your child plays defense or wanting your child to just play somewhere the coach doesn’t?
·Do you stress over playing time, formation, and tactical decisions made by your coach? Leaving games fuming over decisions made in game and always seeing what should have happened?
I think at some level we all feel these tensions, and I want to be clear and tell you that I have felt these tensions too! It’s typically in a “big” game or tourney where the competition heightens! Wondering why this or that was happening on the field. Wondering why my own child was playing here or there or why this or that decision was made in game. It’s in those moments that we must take a deep breath and remind ourselves why we made the decision to bring our child to this club and ask ourselves a very important question as a soccer mom or dad.
*When we are struggling we need to remind ourselves why we brought our child to Keystone FC and ask ourselves this very important question even when I don’t like or understand something that is happening on the field. DO I TRUST MY COACH? DOES HE OR SHE HAVE MY CHILD’S BEST INTEREST AT HEART? DO I BELIEVE IN AND TRUST THE PROCESS? We have our children here for a reason, we can be confident and relax...because the answer is "YES!" We chose to be here, because we believe in what they are doing for our children! This means we can relax and enjoy and trust the process.
I have been around the game for many years and sat and talked with many parents who are hurting over different decisions their coaches are making. They don’t understand them, and maybe aren’t seeing the bigger picture. In the end I try to bring their focus back to the quality of the coach their child is playing for. Is your coach a good coach? Do you trust them?
Why ask these questions? Well it’s because we parents don’t always see things objectively! And when we are frustrated or hurting we need to remember this simple thought. I trust my coach and have my child here for a reason! We parents don’t always see objectively and we aren’t always thinking about the bigger picture.
We are focused on our child which is why it’s so important to find a good club, with strong coaches who we can trust to lead objectively and with truth! We may not always like what we hear, but that is where our value “confidence” comes into play. When we trust them we can relax and know that it’s all good and they have it under control, which means we don’t have to try to control it we can just support it!
We need good coaches who we can trust. Good leaders are a gift, and they are hard to find. When we find them we can relax and enjoy the game! When we struggle we remind ourselves that we have a good coach and we trust what they are doing! We remind ourselves why we have our child at Keystone FC. We did this because we believe in the system and the coach! So we can relax, sit back and enjoy. When you relax a couple special things start to take place, that confidence that you have is contagious and flows right into your child, your coach, and into the entire parent sideline of your team!
So I have a couple challenges for you that I would like you to try as we get back outside you could reflect this value of confidence.
Challenge 1 - Take a Walk During Training! If you were the sideline stalker, I would challenge you to try something new. Drop your child off at training and go for a walk! Relax, and enjoy the evening rather than pacing the sideline and laboring over each touch and decision. It sends a great message to your child and the coach that you are confident in the environment and also in your coach’s leadership.
Challenge 2 - Find and focus on a positive! If you struggled with in game tactics and decisions in the past, always waiting to complain or send an email to the coach about what could have been, I challenge you to find a moment in each game or training that is positive and focus on it, then talk about it with others, and take a moment and let your coach know about that positive, thank them and leave it at that! It builds confidence into them rather than pulling confidence from them!
Confidence is huge for a player and leads to so much success for them on and off the field…but confidence is the key for us parents because it allows us to relax and enjoy this time with our children around the sport they love. It allows us to just be a mom or a dad loving on our child while the coach leads and handles the soccer for us! I don’t think any of us will ever understand every decision and thing done for our child in a team sport but when we have confidence we don’t really need to because we trust our coach and remember that we brought our child to this club for a reason!
We will see you in two weeks when we close out this series on reflecting our core values looking at the core value that can squeeze so much out of us all…and that is Competition!