I owe a lot of my success as a player to my parents.
Not only have they always provided the funds for my venture, but they also supported me in a positive manner. Too many young players have their potential impaired because of overly zealous parents. I know that parents have nothing but good intentions and want only the best for their kid, but sometimes it is just too much.
No player should have to deal with the distraction of disappointed eyes glaring from the sideline and the post-game, not so pleasant talking-to that awaits. Trust me, as players, we know when we don’t play well and most of the time, we know what went wrong. Being scrutinized immediately after stepping off of the field only makes a bad day of soccer worse.
The key is addressing the poor performance in a positive manner.
For example, whenever I had a game that was not up to the standard that I set for myself, my parents would say, “Brayden, you played well, but here is what we saw from our point of view…now lets look to turn it around next time”. When in a situation like this, the player needs to be built back up, rather than continuously torn down with negative feedback. Be involved, but be positive. No amount of pressure placed on a player by the parent will make their performance better; it will only make their performance worse.
There is also the ongoing fear of a player becoming “burned out”.
A player becomes burnt out when so much of one sport has been shoved in their face, that they have just had enough and wind up quitting altogether. Placing too much pressure on the shoulders of a young athlete can take its toll mentally and forcing too many hours of training on a kid can wear them physically as well.
A player should play and get better because they love the game, not because their parent is forcing them too. A grounded line of communication between parent and player is essential in ensuring that this does not happen. If a kid is saying that they need a break, most of the time they aren’t lying. Take a week off and I would be willing to bet that kid will be itching to get back out there.