Let the chaos begin!
We are rapidly approaching the season of chaos! And I can't wait!
As we head into Labor Day weekend, most of our children will be headed back to school in a couple of days, if they haven't already returned to school. Labor Day weekend often indicates the end of the summer, and for many parents (and grandparents) the beginning of the fall sports season. It certainly means both of those things in our house! This year is a little different for us, as we now have two girls playing travel soccer, and I have taken on the added responsibility of coaching one of those teams.
As we enter the upcoming soccer season, there is two goals that I will be focusing on. This year for both girls, I will be focusing on being a dad. When I am on the sideline, acting as a coach, I will need to be a coach, but as soon as we walk off the field I will have to put on my dad hat!
In years gone by, I have been a fairly vocal parent on the sidelines. 90% of what I was saying was focused on saying positive things like "Nice Pass!" or "Good Hustle!" Occasionally, I would make a complaint toward a referee. No more!
As the girls learn more and more about the game that they love, we need to let them figure things out on their own. We tell them all the time that we learn from our mistakes, and that it is OK to make mistakes. However, we stand on the sidelines and scream at them. We think that we are helping, but did it ever cross your mind that maybe we are confusing them more? Moving forward, I will be keeping my mouth shut, and enjoying watching my daughters play the game that they love.
That brings me to my second goal for the 2023 soccer season. In the past, after a game, I would offer unsolicited feedback to my daughters after their games. Our coach for my 11-year-old's team sent out a video from a TED talk that discussed our role as parents in youth sports. One of the key takeaways, for me, is that I will be telling each of my children after they get off the field one simple statement - "I love to watch you play." We have coaches to provide feedback on their play on the field.
Several years ago, someone said to me "Your children will have a lot of coaches in their lives, but they will only ever have one Mom and one Dad." The parent role is the most important role in their development as humans, and only two people will get the chance to play that role. We need to be the parent, and let the coaches do their jobs!
Think about the simplicity of saying "I love to watch you play." No specific critique. No specific praise. Simply telling your child that you love to watch them do what they love to do. That's it. Leave the coaching to the coaches!
Those are my goals for this year.
1) Be quiet on the sidelines
2) Make sure that my kids know how much I love to watch them play.
What are you looking forward to with the upcoming fall sports season?
Movement is my medicine,