Welcome to recreational club soccer!
Here is where you might be asking, What have I gotten myself (and my family) into? The answer is a whole lot of fun. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
First, of all for new players, don't spend a lot of money on equipment. Watch the major retailer's advertisements for low-cost kits that include shoes and shin guards or shin guards and a ball or check secondhand stores. Also, watch our social media for when we'll be hosting an equipment exchange.
Don't take this too seriously. Recreational soccer is meant to be fun first and foremost. If your player isn't "getting it" right away, that's ok. The key is getting their foot on the ball as often as possible. If they have the talent, we will talk to you about the possibility of moving them to a "Select" or "Premier" program. No players are being drafted into the Premier League of Soccer from our program after the season.
Because it's meant to be fun, don't be hard or mean on coaches, players, or officials. That's not something we will tolerate, and it just makes things less fun for everyone involved.
Don't coach from the sidelines. I can create a lot of confusion if you are yelling one thing and the coach another. If you are that passionate, find out about how to volunteer and help coach. We always need more help and additional coaches can help create smaller groups in practice and greater skill development.
Invest in a comfortable chair to bring to practices and games, maybe a blanket for the back half of the season. You'll be doing a lot of standing around and watching, so you will want to be comfortable.
Dress yourself and your player in layers and keep a change of clothes in the car. Our season covers between sunny and warm August to cold and wet November. There will be a practice or game that your player will be soaked and muddy and you may not want that in your car.
If you are new to soccer, do take some time to learn about the sport. Ask questions, volunteer to help coach, and watch some YouTube videos. It makes watching your players more enjoyable when you have some idea of what's happening on the field.
Your player will likely practice 2-4 hours a week with their coach. That leaves a lot of time that they aren't practicing. Do take that opportunity to get out there and play around with them. Even just kicking the ball or letting them "shoot" at you will create memories that last a lifetime and help their development.
Finally, do have fun. You're are investing your hard earned money and time for 4 months in this activity. Get to know other parents, play with your player, and be present. you won't regret it.
We can't do it without you
It takes a lot to operate a soccer club and you are the most important part. Between getting your players to and from practice and games to stepping up and helping coach. Parents and guardians are the lifeblood of youth sports.