As we get ready for the season ahead, Paul Bayly, MIFC's new Director of Soccer, shares some sidelines tips for you and your players.
First, you need to consider your duration of time at the soccer game(s). Make sure the player eats a good healthy meal before leaving the house, players need the energy to play, if you have one game for the day, you are probably good to throw in a water bottle as post-game snack and head out the door.
If you are going to be at the soccer location longer, you’ll need to pack for water refills, snacks & depending on your game times, possibly lunch.
Make sure you plan ahead and have the correct address for the field and parking location. Parking can be atrocious at sports parks and sometimes leaving to grab a bite to eat just isn’t an option. Having food on hand can help the player recover after the game. Make sure your player is well hydrated and has their bag packed with all their gear, especially shin guards, boots and gloves if the weather is cold. Always plan for changing weather!
Keep track in your planner or team app of the games that you are responsible for team snacks. Also have the managers/coach contact details on hand, just in case you are running late.
As a parent, dress for the changing weather and bring a chair so you can relax and enjoy the game.
During the Game
This is the time you can enjoy the game and watch the results of all your rushing around. Enjoy the game and support the team and players. Mistakes will happen by all, players and referees, these are learning moments. Be positive, the years go quickly. If you find you get excited at the games, lollipops are a great way to help. It is a kid's soccer game, so it will probably not look like an adult professional game. Remember shouting at your player can cause that player to pause and look towards you and forget about the game.
After the Game
Wait until the coach releases the players, let your player know how proud you are of them and that you really enjoyed watching them play the game. Some players might want to tell you about what they did and others might not, no need to go into game analysis with them, as you have seen the game differently than them.
Food and water are important after the game and make sure you keep the same routine regardless of the result.