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Silicon Valley Eagles Blog

The Silicon Valley Eagles Soccer Academy blog is a great source of soccer coaching tips, parents and players improvement tips and advises, and updates on the soccer world news.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_seated-sideline-parents_web.jpgAs a former coach with well over 30 years of experience helping young people learn to play soccer and learn life lessons on the field, I’ve seen some changes over the years. Equipment has gotten more expensive and fields have gotten nicer, but there are changes in the parents and the way things are run as well. Here’s my take on what I saw 30 years ago and what I’m seeing today.

Yesterday’s Sports Parents
They walked to their neighbor’s house, local school or the recreation department, if they had one, and waited for the meeting to begin. The host, usually a parent or department employee, would eventually start the meeting. The agenda, if they had one, would cover the program’s needs.

They were told their child could not play unless someone “volunteered” to coach that team. They were told the games could not be played unless someone “volunteered” to referee. They were told the league could not operate without some “volunteer” administrators to guide the program. Eventually, everyone who wanted their child involved would be given a job, from putting numbers on T-shirts to marking the fields.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stressed-kid_web.jpgSports are competitive, and young players sometimes have a hard time dealing with the pressures of the game. Add in the demands of school, and you may end up with one stressed kid. Here are 10 tips for helping your child manage sports-induced stress.

1. Provide the Right Encouragement
To help your child manage stress, you must provide encouragement without adding pressure. Don’t push too hard, overreact to mistakes or losses, or make your child feel like sports is the most important thing. It’s not.

2. Watch Your Sideline Behavior
Are you yelling at coaches, refs and umpires? Your sideline behavior can greatly add to your child’s stress both on and off the field. Help your child by keeping it in check.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_youth-sports.jpgLast week, I was invited to participate in the NFL Health + Safety Conference in New York City along with more than 40 other bloggers and writers. Sitting at a huge conference table at NFL headquarters, we heard from representatives of the NFL and USA Football about the success to-date of the Heads-Up Football program in reducing head injuries in youth football, as well as plans to expand the program in the coming year.

More interesting, however, was the subsequent discussion among the bloggers – parents of youth athletes from Kindergarten through college – about the role of parents in reducing sports injuries, especially concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). If you’re like most parents, you’re probably thinking, “What can I do? I’m not on the field. I’m not the one playing or coaching. And I’m not a doctor.”

In reality, there’s a lot that sports parents can do to make their child’s experience safer. Here are six ways you can ensure a better, safer youth sports experience for your child:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_youth-football-concussions2.jpgOver the past few weeks, my Facebook news feed has lit up with news of friends’ children suffering concussions due to football, including these highlights:

“Just back from Children’s Hospital. Concussion. Out of football for 2 weeks!”

“Mild concussion. Sidelined for a week. Could have been worse.”

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Posted by on in Sports Parents

b2ap3_thumbnail_little-league.jpgFlying home from Spring Training a few weeks ago, our flight was packed with 7- and 8- year-old boys. Had they gone to see their beloved San Francisco Giants or Oakland A’s play up-close and get autographs? No. They were returning from a four-day baseball tournament where they played against other 7- and 8-year-olds from up and down the West Coast and neighboring states.

Bad enough that they had missed two days of school to play baseball against other kids their own age—I have to think there are plenty of other teams at their age-level within a short drive of their Bay Area town—but I couldn’t stop cringing as I listened to the coaches and parents talk about those other second- and third-graders:

“Did you see that first baseman? He SUCKED!”

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