Parents Must Play


This past week I did something I have never done before in coaching….I invited the parents of our youth academy (U9/U10) players to come out for a match against their children.

I had always heard that this exercise would be a great way for parents to get a better understanding of what it was like to play the game they only see through their children’s eyes.  Uncertain what kind of response I would get from the parents, more than one question came to mind:

  • Would only a few parents turn up to play?
  • Would it be mostly moms?  
  • Or mostly dads?
  • Would the level of game understanding from the parents be any good?
  • Would we have any parents who were former players?  
  • If so, would they be easily identified?

Fortunately, the parents represented very well.  We had two fields of games going simultaneously and the energy level was high throughout. The kids were excited to be competing against mom and dad – mom and dad were eager to earn the result each six minute game.

Parents Must Play |

Needless to say, it was a good laugh and good fun.  And, walking off the field, multiple requests were made to do it again in the near future.

If you have never organized an event like this in your club, it is highly recommended.

P.S. Quote of the evening:

“All this time I have been telling my son not to play into pressure when he has the ball at his feet. As soon as I got the ball, what did I do? (rhetorical question)…….(answer) I played into pressure and gave it away.”