5 tips for a happy soccer season

People of all ages love soccer for the action-packed games, the simplicity of learning how to play and the team spirit it nurtures. Is your child starting to play soccer and in need of motivation? Would you like to know how to share great family moments throughout the season? Here are five insightful tips to help you make each game and each practice fun for all, both on the field and on the sidelines.

  1. Always focus on fun!

Sure, it’s great to win, but first of all your child must experience the joy of playing the game. Do they get grumpy about going to soccer practice? Remind them nicely how much fun they’ll have with their friends on the field, whether or not their team wins. To further encourage them, show your little soccer player that you also enjoy watching them play.

  1. Focus on the effort and not the result

Ronaldo also loses games sometimes. Ease the frustration of defeat by highlighting the great effort your child has been making. But try not to play down the anger or sadness that comes with losing. These feelings are even stronger in a child, so acknowledging their reactions shows that you understand what they’re going through. Say something like, “I know it hurts to lose and I understand; but you played well, ran a lot, and I’m proud of you!”

 Of course, it’s also normal to be proud of your little champ when they win a game, especially if they score a goal, but at the same time, sincerely acknowledge the efforts of their opponents. A sore winner is as unpleasant as a sore loser!

  1. Acknowledge the progress of your child

Like everything in life, we rarely succeed on the first try. It’s the same with soccer: before scoring a goal, you’ve got to miss the net plenty of times, but with each kick, you get closer to your objective.

 By congratulating your child on their progress, you nurture their self-esteem. This teaches them to persevere, whether or not they’re a gifted player, because they’ll see the results of their efforts. It’s also an excellent way to develop team spirit: by focusing on the progress everybody’s making rather than the progress of only certain players, you’ll create cohesion and harmony, rather than jealousy.  

  1. Arrive prepared

Since soccer is usually played outside, you’ll have to deal with the moods of Mother Nature: rain, beating sun, cold, and sometimes all three in the course of a game!

 Being well-prepared is key to dealing with the weather with a smile. For cold evenings, be sure to have a windbreaker, gloves, headwear and a scarf. If the sun is in full force, bring your parasol and put on sunscreen! And always keep a foldable waterproof poncho in your bag, because you never know when the rain will fall.  

 Whatever the weather, don’t forget a bottle of water or a sports drink as well as a change of clothing for your little player! A polar fleece blanket is a must: it can keep you warm or be used as a cushion.

  1. Socialize

While soccer is a team sport on the field, it’s also a great occasion to fraternize with the other parents and forge new relationships in the stands. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee and healthy snacks (granola bars, nuts) that you can share with the other spectators.

 Take advantage of the practices to get to know the other parents and exchange contact information, so that you can give each other a hand when necessary. Plus, you’ll pass the time in a good mood, even if it’s raining cats and dogs!