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Parent Education


Online/Distance learning. Websites. Electronic newsletters. Reading ... says Paul Musser, a travel-team basketball coach and camp director in South Florida. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Parent Education

Parent Education Beyond the
beginning-of-the season meeting
Fran Kulas Director of Coach and Player
Development Kentucky Youth Soccer Association
Methods of Administration
Starting points
  • Online/Distance learning
  • Websites
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Reading (articles and books)
  • Email lists
  • Codes of ethics / conduct
  • Seminars (sample in this presentation)
  • Mandatory / optional

Critical Elements in Educating Parents
  • Audience involvement / interaction between
    presenter and parents
  • Pose questions
  • Create scenarios for individual and group
    reflection and feedback
  • Show humility
  • Use humor
  • Non-accusatory tone
  • Objective examples

Sample Seminar
How would you respond to your child if he/she
made the following comments
I wish you would stop yelling at me all the time
during the game!
I feel like Im always playing soccer I need a
Im so much better than the other players!
Coach doesnt like me!
I stink!
The referees were cheating for the other team!
I quit!
No one ever passes me the ball!
Coach likes everyone else so much more than me!
I dont want to play soccer this year!
Food for thought
What do the kids really want?
My 7-year old son had a youth league game that
was to start in an hour, so I went to get him
from his friends house. He pleaded with me to
let him stay and play with his friend. Of
course, I insisted he go to the game. Casey
Hurley, Organized activities for kids many times
are mostly for parents, Asheville Citizen-Times
Youth Sports as an investment
They ask me at seven, eight, all the way up to
14, Is my child wasting his time in his sport?
says Paul Musser, a travel-team basketball coach
and camp director in South Florida. I always
ask them to clarify that, and it invariably comes
down to, Are they going to get a
scholarship? Sports Illustrated, October 6,
Did you know?
  • 109 junior colleges that offer mens soccer
    maximum number of scholarships each institution
    can award is 18 potential 1,962 scholarships
  • 200 NCAA Division I mens soccer teams maximum
    number of scholarships each institution can award
    is 9.9 potential 1,980 possible full
  • 169 Division II mens soccer teams maximum
    number of scholarships that each institution can
    award is 9 potential 1,521 possible full
  • 224 NAIA schools that offer mens soccer
    maximum number of scholarships that each
    institution can ward is 12 scholarships
    potential 2,688
  • If every school awarded the maximum number of
    scholarships, the number of scholarships would be
    8,151 within the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA combined
  • Assuming ¼ of the college soccer players each
    season are seniors, their scholarships will be
    the ones available the next year that high school
    seniors hope to get. With this said, on average,
    each year, 2,037 scholarships are available for
    men in the United States
  • (Aicinena, 2002)

Did you also know?
  • In 2001, there were 332, 850 boys playing high
    school soccer according to the National
    Federation of State High School Associations
  • Assuming that 25 of them were seniors, there
    were 83, 212 soccer-playing seniors
  • There were 2, 037 full scholarships that 83, 212
    boys competed for
  • The probability of receiving a full scholarship
    was approximately .024 (2/100)

And oh yeah
Remember that some coaches can and do purchase
the services of foreign players with their
scholarships! In 2000, the NAIA Mens
All-American teams consisted of 42 players. 29
of them were from foreign countries.
(Aicinena, 2002)
Why Children Play
  • To have fun
  • To be with their friends
  • To make new friends
  • To improve and learn
  • To feel good
  • To wear the stuff

Why Children Quit
  • Criticism and yelling
  • No playing Time
  • Emphasis on winning
  • Poor Communication
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Boredom
  • Not learning

Stages of Involvement
  • Pre Season
  • In - Season
  • Before the game
  • During the game
  • After the game
  • In-between games
  • Off Season / No - Season

Pre - Season
What are the perceived benefits and desired
outcomes of their participation?
The Power and Performance Model
  • Strength, speed and power are emphasized
  • Excellence is demonstrated through success
  • Success is indicated by winning
  • Winning is valued more highly if hard work,
    dedication, sacrifice, risk, and pain are
  • The body is viewed as a machine
  • Training and performance should be
    technologically enhanced and scientific
  • Participants should not be concerned with injury
  • A clear hierarchy of authority structures exists
  • Players should be subordinate to coaches
  • Coaches are in control
  • It should be clear to observers that coaches are
    in control
  • Opponents are viewed as enemies
  • Only the best on a team should play
  • If you are unskilled, you will cost the team a
    game and this is unacceptable

The Pleasure and Participation Model
  • Active participation is emphasized
  • Participation is the reason for involvement for
  • The participant and opponent are important
  • The opponent is seen as valued and needed
  • An opponent is viewed as someone whom
    participants compete with in order for a test to
    take place
  • The participants control of his or her body and
    objects in the environment provide satisfaction
  • Skilled movement and performance yield
  • Demonstrating skill and cunning provides
  • Domination and victory are not requisites of
  • Decisions are shared
  • Cooperation is desired and expected
  • Power is shared
  • There is give and take between coaches and

(Coakley 2001 Aicinena 2002)
(Table 1-1, Aicinena 2002)
When individuals participate in youth sport as
coaches, athletes, and parents, conflicts are
likely to occur because of the difference in what
the participants view as appropriate goals and
behaviors. (Aicinena 2002)
In - Season
Before the Game
Youth baseball coach once told me about a boy
who ignored his instruction to stop at first base
on a hit to the outfield. The boy was thrown out
at second by a mile. After the inning, he
admitted he had heard the instruction, but told
the coach he tried for the extra base anyway
because my parents pay me more allowance for a
double than a single. By leading their son to
believe that his worth in their eyes depended on
performance on the field, the parents had induced
the boy to spurn teamwork for a chance at a few
dollars. (Douglas E. Abrams Villanova
Sports Journal, 2002)
(No Transcript)
During the Game
Why are you there?
Make sure she knows that you are there because
it is fun for you to watch her participate, not
because you want to criticize. Caroline Silby,
PH.D, Author of Games Girls Play Understanding
and Guiding Young Female Athletes
Adult spectators, coaches and league
administrators are guests at the childrens
games. We are guests because if no adult
attended, our hosts, the children, could still
have a game. Douglas E. Abrams
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law
Sideline Behavior
Parents and coaches need to remember that if
officials can hear profanity and other verbal
abuse directed at them when a call goes against
the team, the children on the field can also hear
it. (Abrams, 2002)
A good way to determine whether the sideline
comments are helpful and supportive is to ask the
children what they prefer to hear on the
sideline, if anything.
(Developing Decision Makers)
A Sideline - Guideline
When watching a youth sports game, if you cant
carry on a normal conversation with the person
next to you then youre probably paying too much
attention to the game. (Just Let the Kids
Play, pg. 319)
Kids Want Support, Not Another Coach
Asked what embarrasses then most, every single
child surveyed listed parents hollering plays or
instructions from the sideline or stands.
The Stroop Effect Conflicting Information
Schmidt, R. (1991) Motor Learning and
Performance From Principles to Practice, Human
Kinetics Pub. p.32
Young players play with great deal of fairness
and sportsmanship. Once they learn how
important the game is to the adults, theyll
learn how to cheat. Dr. Ron Quinn
After the Game
3rd Place Winner Emotion Category US Youth
Soccer Photo Contest Spencer Wilhelm (Marion,
Failure an opportunity to begin again more
You never have your kids attention as much as
when you lose. Those are the real teaching and
learning moments. Harry Sheehy Author, Raising
a Team Player
Many parents and coaches misbehave because they
seek to shield their children from defeat, which
the adults mistakenly liken to failure.
(Abrams 2002)
Youth sports provide an ideal avenue for early
exposure to setback and allows supportive adults
to offer guidance with the stakes not nearly
as high as they will be sometimes later on in
life. (Abrams 2002)
The car ride home
The youngsters are a captive audience in the
back seat on the way home, but they deserve to
ride in peace without being unwilling victims of
their parents station wagon syndrome. When
children are prisoners to incessant criticism in
the back seat after the game, victory inevitably
produces not the thrill they deserve, but only
relief that defeat was avoided.
(Abrams, 2002)
Parents need to understand that the period
following practice and competition is a crucial
time for a young athlete. Its important she be
given the freedom to process it on her own.
(Silby, 2000)
If parents receive one-word answers or silence,
they can be sure that their child feels trapped
with no way out. (Silby,
Everyone forgets todays score before the end of
the season, but decades later the children still
remember the adults whose affection and support
remained steadfast regardless of the
scoreboard. (Abrams, 2002)
Passion and excitement come first. Work ethic
will follow. Harry Sheehy Author, Raising a Team
Competing is an acquired skill. Harry Sheehy
Author, Raising a Team Player
Talking to a coach
  • Is it appropriate?
  • When?
  • How?
  • Where?
  • What?
  • Who?

Examples of Emotional Child Abuse
  • Forcing a child to participate in sports
  • Not speaking to a child after he/she plays
    poorly in a youth sports game
  • or practice
  • Asking your child why he/she played poorly when
    it meant so much to you
  • Hitting a child when his/her play disappoints
  • Yelling at a child for not playing well or for
  • Punishing a child for not playing well or for
  • Criticizing and/or ridiculing a child for
    his/her sports performance
  • National Youth Sports Safety Foundation

Types of Emotional Abuse
Active abuse emotional abuse directed at a
parents child
Passive abuse when a child observes another
child being the recipient of emotional abuse
Kids Sports Network
Benefits of Small-Sided Games
  • Soccer games smaller than 11v11 provide many
  • critical advantages to players including
  • The ability to repeatedly contact the ball and
    the ability to repeatedly experience basic
    tactical problems.
  • In terms of player development, this ability to
    actively participate is directly related to fun
    and enjoyment, and to the issues surrounding
    quality of play and retention.
  • Players under eleven are routinely structured
    into formal positions at ages when their spatial
    awareness and technical range do not lend
    themselves to a practical understanding of large
    group tactics.

Benefits of Small-Sided Games
  • The vast majority of youth coaches do not have a
    soccer background, yet are faced with, arguably,
    the most critical period of player development.
  • Coaching games that demand a midfield
    organization (above 6v6) are too complicated for
    these coaches and often focus instruction on
    structural issues rather than individual
    technical and small-group tactical issues.

What coaches are taught
Ball Player Ratios
U6 11 U8 12 (cooperative and competitive
play in pairs) U10 13 or 4 (cooperative and
competitive play in groups of 3 and 4) U12 14
  • Practices for players U10 and below should be
    activity based as opposed to theme based
  • U12 players and older can begin to handle
    thematic practices (passing, dribbling, etc.) but
    should be done in fashion where players are
    making decisions and not standing in lines or
    being lectured

Off Season
Burnout - The physical effects
Theres some evidence that excessive running and
pounding on the growth plates may affect the
overall growth of a child. We dont know how
much is enough or too much, but we recommend that
kids between 10 and 14 not run more than three
miles a day. Theres an old saying No horse
ever rode itself to death until there was a rider
on its back. Dr. Lyle Micheli, Director of
Sports Medicine at Childrens Hospital Boston
Between 30 and 50 percent of all sports injuries
to children are from overuse. The
Physician and Sports-Medicine Clinical
Sports-Medicine Journal
Psychological Burnout
Coakley (1992) reported that most of the young
athletes interviewed began to wonder if they
were giving up too many activities
and experiences that seemed very important in the
lives of their peers. Developing
Decision Makers
Specialization in Sport
Young athletes who specialize in just one sport
may be denied the benefits of varied activity
while facing additional, physical, and
psychological demands from intense training and
competition. A child should not specialize in
sport before they reach puberty, usually at 11
for girls and 12 for boys. The American
Academy of Pediatrics
My advice to every 10-year old baseball player
is to put down your glove at the end of the
season and try something else, says Cal Ripken,
whose 10-year-old son, Ryan, also plays soccer
and basketball. Ryans dad believes that the
balance and footwork that soccer requires, and
the explosiveness and hand-eye skills that
basketball demands, transfer easily to baseball.
Elite athletes
The whole elite-team culture makes it too easy
to lose sight of the fact that these are still
simply children playing games. (Just Let the
Kids Play, pg. 48)
The push for elite athletes
I told them that if they had asked me to watch
those thirty-seven original sixth-grade hopefuls
tryout, I could have picked out five, six, or
seven boys who were the least worst of the
entire group of players. Notice I didnt say the
best. That would make you think that
sixth-grade basketball players are good, and I
can assure you they are not. (Just
Let the Kids Play, pg. 56)
The push for elite athletes
Early identification of talent is no guarantee
of success in sport during childhood, let alone
during adolescence and adulthood. There are
simply too many intervening variables associated
with normal growth, maturation and development,
and the sports system itself. (Just Let
the Kids Play, pg. 54)
Thank You!!!
Fran Kulas
Resources Credits
The Challenges Facing Parents and Coaches in
Youth Sports Assuring Children Fun and Equal
Opportunity, Douglas E. Abrams, Villanova Sports
and Entertainment Law Journal
Games Girls Play, Caroline Silby, PH.D
Just Let the Kids Play, Bob Bigelow,
Developing Decision Makers, Dr. Lynn Kidman,
Cleats In the Bleachers comics taken from
St. Lordovers Joel Pett Cartoon used with
permission from the author
Through the Eyes of Parents, Children, and a
Coach A Fourteen-Year Participant-Observer
Investigation of Youth Soccer, Steven Aicinena
Stroop - Schmidt, R. (1991) Motor Learning and
Performance From Principles to Practice, Human
Kinetics Pub. p.32
Additional Topic-Related Recommended Resources
Kentucky Youth Soccer Website
Applause electronic newsletter (free to
subscribe at
Attitudes are Contagious Video
Playing to Extremes Video
Whatever it Takes Pursuing the Perfect 10 Video
Competitive Parents, Dr. Phil Show