Welcome to the Keystone FC Parent Corner

The intro to a new area and role that is all about supporting our parents!

What is the Parent Corner?  It’s a blog designed to support and educate our Keystone FC parents as we navigate all that comes with youth sports today.  Because let’s face it…parenting in youth sports today is not easy and seems to be getting more challenging all the time.  The hope is that together, we parents can become a real positive part of the culture and health of our teams, and club, which if you think about it, builds right into your child’s experience!  We hope to put the tools in your hands to help you be the best soccer mom or soccer dad that you can be.  This blog is just part of our investment into our soccer parents here at Keystone FC.  I’m looking forward to more opportunities for us to connect that will be unveiled moving forward!

Who am I and what am I doing?  My name is Sam Hepner and I am stepping into the Parental Education and Support role here at Keystone FC with the hope of serving you the parent, our coaches, and our club.  I am not a Keystone FC employee but am excited to volunteer my time to support and walk with you as we relate to our young athletes, our coaches, and leaders.  So, let’s talk for a moment about what this role is, and what it is not!

This role really has two parts:

Part 1 - Education.  We educate and put the tools in your hands to understand development, youth soccer, and all that comes with it.  This will happen in the Parent Corner blog, also in Parent Meetings, and even in finding good books and more to share with you.

Part 2 - Support.  I’m here to connect with you when you need it.  This means that if you are struggling with something, you now have someone to talk to that is not your team’s coach or another parent on the team.  You have a safe place to talk and process things with me.  This also means our coaches have someone to walk with them from a parenting perspective as well.  There is a lot of tension points in competition, in team sports, in leading and relating to others…and you don’t have to do this alone.  If you are struggling with anything from playing time and positioning tensions, to what camps and trainings to do or not do, to why in the world your coach insists on passing and not just blasting the ball down field to win games…really, any tension points you feel, please feel free to reach out to me.  This is what I’m here for and I look forward to connecting with you! Email me at shepner@keystonefc.com   

*What this role is NOT!  I’m am not here to stalk the sidelines of games and training grounds to ensure that everyone is doing everything perfectly…we are all people, and we won’t do it all right all the time!  I’m not the morality police, and my job isn’t to come down on you or to tattle on you if you are struggling.  This is not a set up…this is a safe place for you to learn, grow, and process things because it is challenging and there are many tension points along the way!

What are my credentials?  So, I must be an expert, right?  I must be the perfect soccer parent, right? Actually…LOL…no, I’m not an expert and no, I don’t do it all perfectly either!  I have and continue to make my mistakes along the way.  I have my moments where I would like a “do over” just like you!  But over the years I have learned from many experiences and I do have a lot of passion for this area.  So, a little about me.  I have four children of my own (2 girls, and 2 boys) all at different stages of life, from out of High School to Junior High.  They all play or played sports and have been on different ends of the athletic spectrum. We have dealt with the hurts of being cut from teams and worked through those moments in our home. We have dealt with the pressures that come with being team leaders and have processed those emotions in our home.  I have been at games staring at my child on the bench wondering why they have not gotten to play and have processed those hurts as well.  I also was a volunteer soccer coach and coached all ages from u6 all the way to 11v11 on the big field.  This means I also understand how lonely that coaching sideline can be as you look across the field at the parent sideline knowing some are happy, and some are not.  I am not a soccer expert but have experienced how the game feels from both the coach and parent sideline.  I love the sport and have seen the effects parents can have both positively and negatively on their child, teams, and club culture.  And like I said, I have made some decisions I’m very happy with for my children in youth sports over the years, and I have done some things that I wish I could do over as well!  We live and we learn, and I am happy to share my experiences with you!   

So with all of that said, there’s one last question that we should address, and that question is “Why?”

Why invest in our parents?  Because whether you realize it or not, we parents play a major role in our children's soccer development and experience!  One of the special qualities of our club is how intentionally they are investing in our children.  Did you know that Keystone FC has a goal for all their players?  That goal is to develop high quality soccer players.  This is done by providing a comprehensive youth soccer experience. Which involves establishing a culture that emphasizes the holistic development of players, coaches, and teams.  So, let’s think about this for a moment.  We as parents are part of that culture!  We are building into the environment of our teams one way or another.  When the player, coach, and parent are walking in step with each other, we can achieve this goal of developing high quality soccer players. 

See you soon!  Be on the lookout for upcoming posts here in the Parent Corner!  Also, parents if you are struggling with things, or just have questions in or out of season, please feel free to reach out to me via email at shepner@keystonefc.com  This is a safe place for us to connect and talk and support each other!  I’m sure I will see you around the fields or training grounds and I look forward to connecting with you soon!  We are better together as we try our best to navigate the challenging world of youth sports.  Go Keystone Go!