News And Events
Should I Let My Daughter Practice the Wrong Way?
11/12/2012 10:29:55 AM
Last month, a Responsible Sports Parent
wrote to our panel of experts to ask:
“My 10-year old daughter plays soccer and loves to play and go to the team practices. She is in good programs with good coaches, but she doesn't want to practice between team practices and work on things the coaches have given her to improve on. When I do get her to practice at home and point out that she isn't doing what her coaches have taught her, we end up arguing.
Am I expecting too much from a 10 year old? When she does practice, should I just let her practice the wrong way, as long as she is practicing, and let her coaches worry about getting her to improve?
- Danny, a concerned parent
We asked two of our experts to weigh in. George Kuntz - AYSO Player Development Technical Advisor, had this to say:
The coaches should be informed by the parents and should communicate with the entire team about being a team member and the responsibility that comes with the commitment to the team's overall goals. Accountability is an important lesson to be learned in the team environment and this situation can provide a great teaching moment. The coaches must convey what exercises the players can be practicing on their own.
One way for parents to approach this is to get a couple of friends on the team that are motivated to work on their own and train together. It's always better when you have supportive and encouraging teammates practicing together.
Parents can only push so much with their children before the game no longer is fun. It's important to ask what they have learned, take them to the park and practice with them. It's very important quality time spent. Even if it is low key and the player and parent end up simply speaking, it can go a long way towards a positive soccer experience.
If the coach sets some goals for each player and tests them throughout the season, the players will respond.
And Tina Syer, Chief Impact Officer from Positive Coaching Alliance
The main goal at this age is to keep her enjoying her sports experience, so she’ll want to continue playing. I once had the opportunity to hear Peyton Manning talk about growing up with Archie Manning (legendary NFL quarterback) as his dad. He said that Archie never asked him to go outside to throw the ball around, and he never offered Peyton any advice on his quarterbacking… unless Payton asked for it. If Peyton asked his dad to head outside to throw, Archie was right on it. If Peyton asked for feedback after a game, Archie was all over it. The key here was that it was initiated by Peyton.
If your daughter does ask you to kick the ball around with her, a good technique to use while you practice is “ask rather than tell.” This might sound like, “Tell me what your coaches told you about your form?” If she does not remember you might “ask for permission” to tell her: “Do you want me to tell you what I think I heard them say?” The tough part here is that if she says, “No,” you have to honor this and not continue on with the instruction, as she’s made it clear she’s not open to it at this time. What I’ve seen happen often in this case is that five minutes later she’ll ask you what you think they said.
Your daughter is lucky to have a dad who is this involved with her sports experience, and I know that with some small tweaks, this could be a lot more enjoyable for both of you.
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