A Lesson on Perspective

We love the fact that you want to see your kids do well playing sport, but we also want to give you a gentle reminder that it’s all about perspective.

If you treat your kid’s soccer the way you treat your kid’s maths, you’ll probably be OK. What do we mean? Look at it this way, most parents don’t show up at their kid’s primary school class and start screaming at them, ‘2 plus 2 isn’t 5! Just think about it!’

Instead, they do what all good parents do. Offer help calmly and thoughtfully. Don’t get right up into in their faces, and don’t talk to them afterwards in the car about how badly they performed.

In other words, you let go a little.

As kids get older, if they do have success, it’s important to try to separate yourself from the process as a parent. You have to try to refrain from getting dizzy on your child’s talent. Instead, try to remember that the most powerful thing you can do is to tell your child

‘I love watching you play.

Those 5 magic words will fill your child with more pride and self-confidence than you can know. So we encourage parents to adopt a more laid-back approach. Focus on life lessons while letting coaches and children focus on playing (“Let coaches coach” is something you hear often).

The most important point we ask you to remember is to validate your child’s courage for going out to play. We don’t think about that much, about how scary it can be for a 5 – 6 - 7- or 8-year-old to go out on a soccer field. Follow these 7 guidelines to help make your child’s Grasshopper Soccer experience even more enjoyable:

1. Common Sense: Have some perspective.
2. Conditions: Provide a positive environment.
3. Communication: Keep all lines of communication open.
4. Control: Allow your children to have a little.
5. Competence: Let your children see the results of hard work.
6. Confidence: Foster it through praise and support.
7. Caring: You will never go wrong with unconditional love.

That’s a lot to remember, of course. And out of all of these, the most important thing Grasshopper Soccer wants you to remember is to tell your kids, ‘I love watching you play.’ More than anything that tells your child, ‘I love you unconditionally whether your team wins or loses.’

Our whole philosophy at Grasshopper Soccer is about teaching soccer in a non-competitive environment and so we know the real value of those words. We had a parent recently who said to their child’s coach, ‘I thought that was so silly to say, but it actually changed my perspective and my relationship with my child. Thank you, thank you.’