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Why Educate?

St. Louis Hawks FC recognizes the important contribution made by parents in youth soccer. We appreciate the challenges facing parents in their quest for guidance on how to help their child reach his/her potential in life, how to be supportive, and how to help their club in its mission to develop players. This page attempts to provide information and resources concerning positive soccer parental behavior.

St. Louis Hawks FC would like to encourage you to learn about the FA Respect Program, which addresses unacceptable behavior in soccer – on and off the pitch. The FA provides a completely free online course that is available to anyone. Everyone that completes the course and achieves the pass mark can immediately print off an accredited certificate directly from the website.

Many interesting articles can also be found at US Youth Soccer website.

Parental Involvement

Players respond best to a recreational environment where coaches and parents share the same goals and expectations. As such, your role in supporting and encouraging your child, both on and off the field, will play a big part in ensuring that your child is having fun and has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. The following are things to consider when attempting to provide a positive soccer environment for your child to develop:

a)      Whose needs and expectations are met?  Children play sports to have fun, be with their friends and learn new skills  However, on occasions, this experience can be negatively affected by parents who live vicariously through their children and become too involved, sharing in the credit when the child has done well in a sport or has been victorious. Other parents can take the game too seriously and become nervous before his/her child’s game, or have a difficult time bouncing back when their child’s team suffers a defeat.

b)      Role modeling – Parents need to keep in mind their responsibility to model good behavior to their child. Staying positive on the sideline, no coaching from the sidelines, and treating everyone with respect, are just a few examples of positive role modeling.

c)      Be your child’s best fan – Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly or his/her team loses.  If your child’s team loses but played his/her best, help them to see this as a win.

d)      Support all players on the team – Your child’s teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, he/she has a wonderful opportunity to learn.

e)      Support the St. Louis Hawks FC program – Get involved by volunteering, helping with fundraisers, carpooling, or however else you can.

f)       Help your child keep priorities straight – A youngster needs help balancing schoolwork, friendships, and other commitments besides soccer. However having made a commitment to soccer, he/she also needs help fulfilling her obligation to the team.

g)      Keep soccer in its proper perspective – The game should not be larger than your life.  If your child’s performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them.

h)      Keep your own goals and needs separate from your child’s – Remember that your relationship with your child will continue long after your child’s soccer days end.

i)      Have Fun – Enjoy watching practices and games. In developing your child in the game of soccer, the best parents can do is to help instill a love for the game. No athlete ever made it at the highest level without a real and undying love for the game.

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