For the little soccer warriors that are too young to read this, I beg you, the loving parent to pass on this message.
The carrot has definitely been dangled in front of the soccer community. Inflated pay packets and the media coverage is enough to send any parent around the bend.
What’s the catch?
Kids soccer has become organized chaos with young children as young as 5 running all over the place competing for ball time and their chance to shine in the spotlight. The coaches and wannabes try and harness this chaotic energy while the parents try frantically to control and restore some order.
How do they control chaotic energy? Unless you’re some crazy scientist, you cannot control chaos, especially when it’s organized.
Apart from the usual control methods like yelling, screaming and pointing the finger, parents are evolving into this money hungry beast that specializes in criticism.
Criticism is the act of passing severe judgment and fault finding.
What about constructive criticism? What about it?
For all you delusional parents out there listen up, CRITICISM is not love, far from it. To put it politely it’s a form of hatred. Criticism is uncomfortable and saddening and a guaranteed way of wiping that smile straight of your child’s face.
You don’t like my criticism of you?
Well guess what?
I’m not going to sugar coat your behavior or your intentions to criticize. Criticism, judgment, agitations and constant pressure are exactly why so many young players quit the game.
Constructive my arse!
How do you feel when you get criticized? It could be criticism from your boss, coach, partner or anyone for that matter. Do you feel good about it? Do you embrace it? Even if the criticism is “constructive”, the words still haunt you and the feeling of self worth evaporates quicker than you can restore it.
Then let me ask you this,
If adults with all their experience and wisdom struggle with criticism, why are we subjecting young children to it? The Status Quo suggests that kids will quit the game before they become teenagers. So why are we criticizing these young fragile minds?
Instead of criticism and frustrations lets talk about love. Forget about soccer, contracts and everything else you’ve conjured up for your child.
Love is free and simple, yet so elusive.
Is it wrong to feel a certain way?
Why would it be wrong?
What would happen if you let your child feel a certain way?
How about starting and seeing where that takes your child. If you persist with criticism you become a part of the Status Quo and your child will inevitable become a part of the scrap heap.
Is it wrong to feel important?
What makes you feel important? What makes your child feel important?
Gather around the monitor and I’ll let you in on a little secret. Are you ready for this ground breaking news? Drum roll please.
Talking about what makes you feel important, well, makes you feel important. Try it with your child or players. Take control of your child’s dream and if needed, become selfish. Protect and preserve the love. Become grateful and enjoy the journey.
Being selfish to your child’s emotions should never make you feel guilty. A selfish craving of love is your divine calling, not criticism.
You have 2 choices as a parent.
Your child becomes another statistic and a part of the status quo or you try this new thing I’m talking about, a selfish craving of love.
Try it; your child will love you for it.
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars.”