Nurturing Young Footballers

Starting them out young can lead to a lifetime of passion for sport

Cover Image: In addition to being their biggest fans, young footballers love to see their parents get into the game as much as they do.

In the Philippines, several sports that used to be foreign to Filipinos are currently on the rise – one of them is football. Many young athletes today are discovering their passion for the sport and their development and continued interest is key for football to continuously grow in the country. To do that, the constant involvement, support, and encouragement of parents to their young champions is needed to fuel their passions and guide them to their dreams.

The terms “Soccer Moms” and “Soccer Dads” are very common in youth football. Whether they are driving them to every training, present in every game, and cheering their hearts out for every play, young athletes who see their parents as engaged to the game as they are motivates them even more and ultimately, allows them to have more fun through wins and losses. Every parent shows their support in different ways and below are a few things to keep in mind to help your young champion to enjoy the beautiful game even more.

LET THEM LEARN

In order for young footballers to play at a high level, they must continuously work on their fundamentals. Often, parents are looking for their children to join a “winning” club thinking that it’s what is best for them. That may not be entirely wrong but the only way for a young footballer to improve and pursue their passion for the sport is for them to have fun. A winning club may not exactly have the environment that your child would enjoy so as parents, it’s important that you talk to your children and find out if they are learning and enjoying their time with the club regardless of their record.

LET THEM PLAY


Football games can get really intense, and, in some ways, the pressures of the match can be felt even by those on the sidelines. These are the times when parents usually yell instructions to their young athletes on the field. While it’s perfectly understandable as to why parents do it, it’s always better to simply cheer for them and constantly offer words of encouragement to them because, chances are, they are feeling more of the pressure than parents do. Let them play through their mistakes and through the pressure. Believe in them and trust that they will learn from experience. It can even help give you something nice to talk about after the game when you ask your young champions what they thought of the game!

LEARN THE BEAUTIFUL GAME


It’s really motivating for young footballers to see their parents are there to watch them play. But, if they know their parents know the sport too, it’s highly likely that they would enjoy playing football even more. Not only will they know that they can talk about their passion for the beautiful game with you, they will also feel how much you enjoy watching them play and have fun!

MEET NEW FRIENDS


In a youth football game, there are usually other Soccer Parents who are cheering and supporting their own young champions. This can be a great opportunity to make new friends! It also helps for your young champions to know that you are friends with the parents of their teammates whom they have most likely have formed a strong bond with from playing together. It is also an opportunity for parents to share about the things they do to support their young with their passions, making it a great learning experience as well.

Today, several youth sports development programs are available for parents to enroll their children and help them thrive in their pursuit of passions. For example, the Alaska Football Power Camp, one of the leading football programs in the country, welcomes boys and girls aged 3 to 18 years old to train under Alaska’s team of professional coaches. The camp is led by none other than Tomas Lozano, a former player of Spanish football club FC-Barcelona. For more information, reservations, and if you wish to register your child for the camp, you may call 822-7584 or email tlozano@skybroadband.com.ph

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