Kids need to be active to stay healthy, focussed and happy. Children’s soccer in Singapore is a great way for your kids to take part in team sport and enjoy the benefits of exercise and the discipline required to learn new skills from a coach. Unfortunately, when some parents get involved the enjoyment of the games falls away, only to be replaced by stress and anxiety. This occurs when parents put too much pressure on their children to perform well. “While always striving to do your best” is a mantra echoed by many pro and club coaches, you don’t always have to win to achieve success in sport.
In fact, there is a high drop-out rate by children playing soccer, with 70% of the 10-year-olds who join up to club soccer dropping out by age 13. This is regrettable for a few reasons. One is that this particular age group is ideal for developing a lifelong love of the game. Another is that so many children give up the game up because it’s not fun anymore and, most of the time, this is due to parental pressure.
The message is simple: if you want your child to play football, let them enjoy it!
Children naturally try to please adults
Children are innately inclined to want to do the right thing and love to hear praise and receive approval. A lot of the time, that means staying on the right side of adults. Whether it’s parents, teachers or other authority figures, very few children enjoy being told off or punished. With that in mind, imagine being a kid playing football and having adults yelling at you in non-constructive nor supportive ways. That can really take the fun out of kicking a ball around. Kids don’t want to be confused by would-be coaching from the sidelines. Often if the amateur instructions are yelled at them too often, the child will likely become embarrassed by their parents’ behaviour or despondent about playing their best. Either way, they’ll want to quit the game.
Having fun helps children learn
Play is an essential part of a child’s development. It is the ideal mix of enjoyment and learning and playing football should be a continuation of this process. If a child is too afraid to make a mistake, they’ll be less likely to try again. It can be the difference between a kid getting out there and having a go versus them wafting around the field making sure there’s a good distance between themselves and the ball. A lot of children are naturally drawn to playing soccer so, rather than putting your child down for what they didn’t achieve during a soccer game, foster their love of the sport by supporting them, praising them and acknowledging their skills on the field.
The Coach is King
Knowing how to kick, trap and dribble a ball makes it more fun than just poking it with your toe or missing the ball completely. If they turn up for practice, kids’ soccer coaching will help them improve their game. Children’s coaches have been specifically selected for not only their ball skills but their ability when relating to young people. So, as a parent, you need to respect their position and don’t try to confuse or antagonise your child, or the coach, by bleating out instructions during play. What your coach says goes, and you don’t want to find yourself with a red card and banned from the sidelines.
Football isn’t a job
Pro footballers are paid to kick goals and block the opposition, so it’s natural they experience pressure on the field at that high level. However, the percentage of children who go on to become professional soccer players is tiny. While kids learn a lot in the classroom, taking part in team sports is also helpful when they graduate and land a job.
Your kids will learn to be accountable when playing. They’ll need to be reliable because their teammates are depending on them. Practice drills help kids learn to focus and improves their agility. All these skills are highly beneficial when your child grows up and becomes a co-worker. If you add pressure to your child’s school schedule now by making soccer something they have to win at, they’re more likely to miss out on the simple enjoyment of achieving goals on their own.
You’ll enjoy the game more, too, if you’re not screaming from the sidelines. Relax, enjoy the game and cheer your kids if you want because watching your children play soccer is a great way to spend quality time with them.
If you want your child to take part in kids’ football, contact Cosmo United Football Academy on +65 9821 3869 or email