Mindset of Soccer Parents and Players

The following are the mental mindset of players and parents:

  1. Social Only- I want my player to play a sport. His friends are in soccer so I am signing him up for soccer- These are individuals who follow one another from one team or group to the next. The player makes comments such as, I want to be in the same group as my friends. The questions are, who is going to training today. When a few friends leave a team, they decide they want to leave as well. When their friendship with those individuals end, they quit the team or sport all together. These parents measure training success based on how happy the player is after the training. Do not push the kids, everybody should win, do not separate one group from one another because my son or daughter feels bad afterwards. Treat every player the same. 
  2. Athletics Only- I want my player to play a sport to be in shape. I want my player to play multiple sports to become well rounded. These individuals measure the training session by the number of sweat drops their player sheds at each training. These parents measure the success of a training by how tired their player is afterwards. Highly competitive physically
  3. Joneses- My neighbor or best friend plays for X soccer club and I want my player to play there too so at dinner parties I can tell others how great my player is so I get a sense of accomplishment. These are individuals who care about winning only, and which team they are on only. For them, the development is not even a concern. They think because their player is on a winning team, they are becoming the best. Status competition
  4. Competitive- This one crosses over with 4 a lot. However these parents are only self serving. These are the ones who bring their drinks and umbrellas and chairs to each game, and they are very vocal. If the team wins, they are happy. IF they lose in the final, the world has come to an end. These are fans of the team. Again, development is not a word in their vocabulary. Winning is development for them. 
  5. Development first, winning is a consequence- These parents get it. They understand that there are times you need to have patience and there are times you need to push hard. This is the way soccer is, no? Sometimes you must run fast toward the opponent, counter attack, take advantage of the weakness, disorganization or numerical disadvantage of the opponent and then you may need to pivot or change pace and direction because the moment is gone. This is most important in soccer but in life. Isn’t this what a true entrepreneur must do? These are the quiet parents on the sideline, who do not eat themselves up. They are engaged in “development” questions. They understand that they must GUIDE their player, help them learn how to find the LOVE in competing, working hard, discipline, focus. They understand what winning is very important AND the way you win sometimes is even more important. Yet, balance this thought with the fact that sometimes you have to become all muddied up to win, and there is no shame in that. Sometimes you have to get your clothes dirty to win. One must learn and adjust the when and where of the mentality. These individuals understand that there is a pathway, there is a process, but this process could be different for each kid. Some are early bloomers, and some are later bloomers. To put players all in the same path and process is an exercise in futility. It show lack of imagination by the teachers and lack of desire to create opportunities for kids. This is when the program puts everyone in the same factory mill. The Ford or Toyota Model. They are great companies, great cars and in fact a hell of a lot more successful than Ferrari! But Ferrari is Ferrari. Ferrari has made History and pumps blood in every speed enthusiast. We must understand who is a Ferrari, and not turn them into a Toyota, and vice versa.