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- Quit stressing about the alphabet soup of youth soccer. (ECNL, GA, National League, ECRL, etc) Youth soccer, like politics, is local. Find a team, club locally that is the right environment for your child. Look for opportunities outside the club to enhance development if needed.
- I hate losing. My kid hates losing. My wife hates losing. However, in youth soccer, some of your child’s biggest growth soccer wise and personally come from just that. Losing. It’s a part of the game and life. Embrace the suck.
- Speaking of embracing the suck, there are going to be stretches where everything sucks. Refs, coaches, your kid, the club, a bad road trip, injuries, and on and on. How you as a parent handle it goes a long way towards how your kid will learn to handle it.
- Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Somebody’s kid is always going to have better cleats, maybe play for a more “prestigious” team or club. Focus on your own child’s development. Maybe you can’t afford to send your child to that overseas camp their teammate is going to. I couldn’t when my sons teammates were all going, but I could go out in the back yard and play 1 on 1, and those were some of the best times.
- Relax and try to just simply enjoy watching your kid play. When the journey ends, you’ll realize it was the little, simple things that made it all worthwhile. Stop stressing over so many things, and just embrace the simple joy of watching your kid compete.