Does your child LOVE soccer?
How you can support your child as a soccer mom or parent in their passion AND help him/her to SUCCEED is the primary motivation for most parents.
I know it is for me.
This is going to sound a little mushy (I mean waaayyy mushy), but the best way to support your soccer player is to give them unconditional encouragement and love. It really, really is. Hands down. No question about it.
You're doing that already? Good for you!
Well, it is a natural tendency for parents. I'll give you that.
Your next step as a soccer mom or dad should be to learn about the game of soccer.
Browse my site of course!
Specifically, read up on
Also, read some books. Some suggested books from Amazon.com are in the right column.
Here are five more top things that I have done and that I can recommend to you as a soccer mom or dad:
Here is a true statement: Kids learn by doing.
Why is the US soccer program behind many other countries? Because kids in the other countries grow up with a soccer ball. They play it, live it, and breath it every day. Kids in the US grow up with - yes, you guessed it, a baseball. Perhaps a bit oversimplified but you get the picture.
It is critical that kids (and soccer moms/dads) get to play with a soccer ball as much as possible.
To Do List:
Buy a soccer ball . One soccer ball (minimum) is a REQUIREMENT around the house at all times. NOT AN OPTION! Read about how to buy a soccer ball. A great complement to a soccer ball is a new device for storing balls called the ball claw. Read my review now.
Play soccer with him/her. Just 10-20 minutes every other day of passing the ball back and forth and dribbling will greatly improve their ability to pass, receive, and control the ball - and you might become an all-star soccer mom!
Buy some orange practice cones so they can practice dribbling skills in the yard. If you can't afford the cones (4 for about $4), be a creative soccer mom and use whatever you have around the house to use as markers. The cones have a multitude of purposes. Use them to mark a boundary, as goal posts, or to make a square or circle. If you're short on ideas or just need fresh ones, there are many excellent books and videos for the soccer mom or parent that make great references. Hint - the local "Wal-Mart" or similar store normally stocks these cones.
Make or buy a small soccer goal for the yard . This makes the fun factor go WAY up! Size doesn't matter . As a soccer mom or dad you should do what makes sense for your situation and yard size. A soccer goal is often a kid magnet for the neighborhood, friends, and teammates. Have fun with it!
This is really equal in importance with #1 but it's an item specifically for you as a soccer mom or parent.
Finally, purchase some good videos about the game. Your whole family can learn about the game, not just the soccer mom!
NEW! I now have a page on the history of soccer for those who like a little background.
The game itself is a great teacher, not just for playing but also for watching. My son especially enjoys the local college soccer games and has learned some valuable lessons from watching others play the sport. Discuss the game afterwards to point out specific plays or tactics that were used.
The next best thing to being there. At times even better because both you and your child can learn from the commentators - well, at times anyway.
OK, this is really a catch-all category. Technically anything that improves your child's soccer skills is a training aid, so a soccer ball, soccer goal, and practice cones are all training aids.
More specifically though, there are other training aids that can help improve their skills. Any of these make great birthday or Christmas gifts - something to keep in mind as a soccer mom or parent. Check out the soccer training aids webpage for more information.
Kicking Aids/Rebounders - Kicking aids are devices that attach to the soccer ball and allow a player to work on various kicking/foot techniques without having to retrieve the ball. Rebounders are similar but allow for more freedom of movement. eSoccerGoals.com offers a wide variety of rebounders and backyard goals at reasonable prices.
Soccer Videos - There are many, many good instructional soccer videos and soccer DVDs on the market for the soccer mom or parent, including a great DVD on how to kick a soccer ball . I have spent may hours looking for the best products and cheapest sources. What can I say? I'm cheap!! (Some people use more abusive terms but we won't go there. ) Here are my recommendations.
Soccer Books - Not only are there excellent instructional books for the soccer mom, coach, or player, but there are also great motivational books about past and present soccer stars. Ever heard of Mia Hamm? How about Pele?
Soccer-for-Parents is excited to now offer our Simple Soccer Rules to parents "on the go". This is our own free android app (sorry ipeople) that installs in seconds and contains everything on our normal rules page along with a link to the official FIFA rules and USYSAA rules. Here is the free app!
(ad free version here)