We appreciate that you have chosen FC Freeze for your child. Our goal is to provide the best soccer experience possible for each player, regardless of age, talent or gender.
Please review the information below to ensure a positive experience for both your child as a player, and you as a parent.
There are two primary goals of FC Freeze and the coaching:
1. To nurture your child’s love of soccer
2. To develop and sustain the positive learning environment that will allow your child to develop the skills and personality traits required to become a better soccer player
There is excessive emphasis on winning in society today. We want to win as much as anyone else, but there is no need to over-emphasize winning. The kids get it. We would rather play well and lose than play a sloppy game and win. We will encourage the kids to be gracious in victory and defeat. The key question is did we play the game how it is supposed to be played? Did we working as a team? Did we display sportsmanship? If we did, we will be proud of the team. Please re-enforce the message at home, it is not all about the winning.
The majority of your child’s development will occur in practice. The ball teaches the game. Count the number of times your child touches the ball. In a game, maybe 100-200, in practice 1,000 – 2,000. If you want your child to realize their potential, please make sure they come to practice.
· Please have your child bring the correct size ball and water to practice.
(U10-U12 use size 4, U13 and above use the standard size 5)
· Please be on time for practice.
· Please contact the coach if your child cannot make a practice. Coaches plan practice sessions in advance based on the numbers available.
o Please yell encouragement, not instruction. A large part of soccer is assessing options on the field and making a decision based on those options. If you are yelling instructions, your child is not learning to decide on their own. In addition, you may be telling them to do something that conflicts with what the coaches have asked them to do.
o Please, please, please do not yell at the ref. They will make mistakes, it is a fundamental fact of the game of soccer. Let the other fans embarrass themselves, ranting and raving like lunatics. Think about why we are all doing this, for the kids. They are watching our behavior. Let’s lead by example.
· FC Freeze does not believe in running the score up. If this occurs, your child’s coach may pull a player off the field.
· Please let the coach know if your child has any medical conditions
Please understand that your child may be not remain on the same team throughout their time in FC Freeze. Players come and go, ages change. For each season, it is only fair we put the best age appropriate players on the same team, for development purposes more than anything. We may, on occasion, allow a player to play at a higher age group, but this is an exception, and we manage this through a process of player evaluation by our Director of Coaching and Executive Director.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this…hopefully it has helped you to understand our approach to the game a little more.
Sports Parent Behavior Checklist
Rate on a 1-to-5 scale, 1 being “not like me,” and 5 being “characteristic of me”, the questions below relative to your parenting of your child in sports. Think about how your child or your child’s coach would rate you. When finished, total the ratings to assess how effective you are as a youth sports parent.
___ 1. Do I emphasize the development of my child and having fun more than winning?
___ 2. Do I have expectations that are realistic for my child as an athlete in a specific sport?
___ 3. Do I rarely criticize my child for his or her performance in a specific sport?
___ 4. Do I allow my to child to be responsible for his or her sports preparation (meaning I do not
do everything for my child including carrying bags, getting water, arranging practice time, and preparing equipment)?
___ 5. Do I avoid trying to coach my child when he or she has a coach?
___ 6. Do I provide love and support regardless of the outcome of a game or match?
___ 7. Do I emphasize the importance of hard work with my child?
___ 8. Do I expose my child to different sports?
___ 9. Do I keep success in perspective?
___ 10. Do I display a positive and optimistic parenting style?
___ 11. Do I avoid allowing one specific sport to dominate my child’s entire life?
___ 12. Do I hold my child accountable for poor behaviors during practices and contests?
___ 13. Do I appropriately push my child when he or she is lazy and does not work hard?
___ 14. Do I encourage my child to seek out new challenges and opportunities?
___ 15. Do I avoid exerting pressure to win?
___ 16. Do I model an active lifestyle?
___ 17. Do I emphasize core values like ’if you are going to do it, do it right?’
___ 18. Do I provide transportation, as well as financial and logistical support?
___ 19. Do I provide considerable encouragement by recognizing what my child does right?
___ 20. Do I try to make athletics fun?
___ 21. Do I avoid focusing the majority of our conversations at home on a specific sport?
___ 22. Do I act calm and confident in my child as he or she plays the game?
___ 23. Do I avoid considering my child’s athletics as an investment and that I should receive
something in return?
___ 24. Do I treat my child the same following wins and losses?
___ 25. Do I provide my child ample opportunity and resources to be successful in athletics?
___ 26. Do I allow my child some say in his or her sports-related decisions?
___ 27. Do I attempt to keep my own interests in sports secondary to my child’s?
___ 28. Do I avoid getting caught up in a sport and making it over-important?
___ 29. Do I consider my child my son or daughter first, and an athlete second?
___ 30. Do I avoid critiquing my child immediately following a match or game, or during the car ride home?
______ TOTAL SCORE
135-150: Great job mom/dad! You are parenting your child athlete very effectively. Keep doing what you’re doing.
120-134: You are very effective in parenting your child athlete. Find any items that you scored 3 or below and set a goal to improve.
105-119: At times, you are effectively parenting your child athlete, but there are some behaviors that may be negatively influencing your child’s experience. Review your ratings and then set a goal to improve scores below a 3.
90-104: There is a good chance you are negatively influencing your child’s athletic experience. Review your ratings and read available materials to help develop ideas for improving your child’s sporting experience.
89 and below: You are negatively influencing your child’s athletic experience. It is important you think about your child’s goals and why he or she plays athletics. Reflect on your perspective of youth sports and how it differs from a healthy perspective of developing the child and having fun in athletics. Please review sports parenting material and set a goal every week to improve as a sports parent.
Note: This checklist was adapted from a tennis parenting but really can apply to almost any youth sport today.
The Role of Parents in FC FREEZE
The role of parents in club sports is a very controversial topic. Media reports are too often highlighting bad examples of parental behavior. Research has shown that parents play a critical role in the development of junior players. While many parents do an excellent job in this regard, there can be negative effects (although unintentional) of their behavior on player development. Ironically, studies have found that top junior players had parents highly involved in their athletic experiences who instilled the values needed for success at the top levels. So, it is paradoxical that parental involvement seems essential for talent development, but at the same time can become a detriment to some players. The purpose of this document is to help parents shepherd their players through the athletic development process so that it can take place in a smooth and nurturing fashion. We want to help you avoid the psychological consequences where parents unknowingly did things that resulted in major parent-child and motivational issues. FC Freeze believes in the educational value of informing parents about major issues that affect young players.
Development of your child in a sport usually involves three phases. In the early years, the child is in the beginning phases of development. They should develop a liking of the game. Participation is often recreational in nature. There is usually not much emphasis placed on systematic training. The “fun” is more important. Positive parenting at this point involves providing the financial means and transportation. Parents are encouraged to provide the opportunity and “push” to play, but not pressure to win. Parents should exhibit emotional control and emphasize the “fun.” Parents should stress on field conduct with their child and help kids during the off time (at home) by bumping balls or fetching balls that the child kicks.
Development in the middle years is where a player begins systematic training multiple times per week. They may travel for competition. They usually need a great deal of coaching to develop during this phase. In addition to the above supportive behaviors for the younger children, parents also must be careful to keep the sport in perspective. Positive parenting characteristics ensured that the child had good facilities and coaching and they instilled the value of hard work and commitment. Negative behaviors during this phase included too much soccer talk, too much emphasis on winning, reacting emotionally at matches, being too restrictive on a player’s social life, and becoming over-involved in their athletes playing abilities with them and their coaches.
The elite phase of development involves player training much more often during the week and usually under a master coach. It is often at this phase that the sport takes a central role in the life of the player. Competition can take place at the regional and national level. In addition to the above behaviors for the younger developmental players described above, positive parent behavior at this level was the continuation of providing more specialized (sometimes expensive) opportunities and resources, exhibited emotional control, stressed good on-the-court conduct, lessened the involvement (or pulled back purposely) with their child in the sport, allowed their child more independence, provided consistent and stable parenting, helped with college and/or career decisions, and provided advice when asked. Negative behaviors were over-emphasis on winning, being overly critical, lacking communication, being too controlling of their player and their level of participation, and exhibited problems with the coaching. It is in this phase of a player’s development, that parents really need to be supportive and back off and let the child mature and become more independent and take the lead with coaching interactions.
FC Freeze has a proven and successful plan for developing your player into a well rounded athlete. How the teaching of the sport is structured can have far reaching effects on everyone involved. Although club soccer has traditionally focused on winning competitions as the ultimate measure of success, at FC Freeze we look at winning as one measure of success, but we believe that our players (and coaches) are winners because of the principles and life lessons that we teach to kids who choose to play soccer. We utilize a tool called Blueprint of a Champion that will help your player develop goal setting techniques that can be used throughout her lifetime. We recognize that the attainment of these goals is a shared responsibility of the player, the coaches and even the parents. We want to partner with you, but that requires that we each recognize our respective roles. The following is intended to give you a chance to think about what your role should (and should not) be in the development of your player.
Positive Traits of parents whose player had a positive experience:
Provided unconditional love and support. Made sacrifices for the sake of the child without any expectation in return.
Motivated and encouraged their player. Emphasized “fun”, especially at the younger ages.
Provided financial and logistical support.
Had the appropriate perspective on youth sports.
Provided opportunities for further development.
Emphasized the child’s development; and not just winning.
Had a balanced approach, supportive and not over bearing.
Focused on performance rather than outcome.
Focused on hard work and development and discipline while balancing it with fun.
Focused on friendships and social benefits of the sport.
Placed trust in the coach to work with their child.
Followed the boundaries set for parents and players by the coaches.
Reinforced preparation and hard work.
Made the child responsible and live up to commitment.
Pushed and modeled core values.
Created and maintained a stable home.
Helped player to balance responsibilities.
We also wanted to help you avoid some common situations that elite athletes have voiced as being detrimental to their development:
Negative Traits of parents whose child had a negative experience
Became too demanding and had high expectations because of the money they paid for their child to participate in club soccer. They expected a “return on investment.”
Had unrealistic expectations. Pushed too hard.
Became over-involved and created a negative experience.
Coached their own child.
Made Constant comparisons of child to other children. Constant criticizing.
Pampered child too much.
Lived their life through their children’s sport.
Adopted an outcome orientation.
Were negative and overbearing.
Applied too much pressure to win at all costs.
Took the sport too seriously.
Distracted a child during a match.
Here are some Positive Parent-Coach Interactions to keep in mind during the season:
Let the coach do his/her job.
Demonstrate loyalty to the coach.
Have open communication with coach.
Help the coach when asked.
Develop a good relationship with the coach and players (friends).
Reinforce the coach’s message at home.
Be supportive of coach and team.
Help player develop comparable goals and philosophy.
Don’t discuss serious matters in front of the player
Minimize interaction with the coach (at older levels) and especially at matches.
Trust the coach and let him/her teach.
Help child prepare for practices and games.
Understand your role of a parent
We all need to realize that we have the same ultimate goal in mind; the development of your player. We want your player to develop soccer skills and life skills and to become the best athlete and person that they can be. We hope that you will use your parenting skills to help your player develop into an amazing young player and athlete and be enthusiastic partners with us in making that happen