Typically, if one were asked who comprised the members of a youth soccer team, the expected response would be that the team is composed of players and the coaching staff. I would like to borrow a term from the business world and expand the definition of a soccer team to include other stakeholders, especially those with a strong interest in the success of the team. In particular, I would like to focus on an important and under-utilized group of stakeholders, namely, the parents. With a bit of encouragement and education from the coach, parents can become valuable allies of the team, serving to reinforce the coach’s strategies and promoting a healthy and positive experience for the players. Let us explore how this can be accomplished.
There are many reasons coaches might choose to exploit this often neglected resource, the parents. Parents have the greatest influence on their children. They certainly spend the most time with them – including the important time being transported to and from practices and games. So, parents are likely to have the ear of the players. Why not take advantage of this time? Why leave to chance the conversation between a player and an inexpert parent when, with a bit of effort, parents can echo information the coach wishes to emphasize.
We should also be mindful that parents are important stakeholders . . .