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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_Soccer-Ball-Field.parents-in-back_web-300x199.jpgLike it or not, sports come with pressure. There will come a time when your young athlete gets the ball with the clock winding down or steps up with the bases loaded. When that happens, mental toughness often determines whether or not they’ll succeed. Even though you can’t be on the field or the court with your young athlete during these situations, there’s plenty you can do to help beforehand. Here are five methods to get you started.

1. Call Your Young Athlete a Competitor

“There goes our little winner” or “Here comes Johnny, our star goalie.” How do you introduce and describe your kid?

Be careful about using descriptors that emphasize only part of their identity. They are not always winners, and they certainly don’t always lose. A parent of an athlete I know once introduced her as “perfect little Sara.” That’s tough to live up to.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_soccer-training-for-flexibility-3.jpgParents, surely you realize that you are your child’s first and most influential teacher/coach. The stimulation and support you provide can instill a desire for your child to want to improve. So, it is important that you make learning experiences as fun as possible in the hope that your child will eventually become self-motivated to want to improve.

Foremost, you must find out if your child is actually interested in improving during the off-season. Make a conscientious effort to listen to your child by engaging in two-way conversation, meaning you’re talking and listening. Be sure to talk about in which areas of the game your child would like to improve.

Then, find out from your child’s coach what areas your child needs to improve so you can work on those strengths and weaknesses using the following techniques:

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Posted by on in Sports Parents

b2ap3_thumbnail_sportul_la_copii.jpgOur kids learn from what we say and do. Don’t we all want to be the kind of sports parent that teaches good sportsmanship, teamwork and respect? Here is some simple advice on how to be the best sports parent before, during and after the game.

Before the Game:
Make them get their stuff together. It’s important for kids to learn to know what to bring to play their sport. As a parent, you can always do the quick check to make sure they did it correctly (don’t need any baseball bats at soccer), but tell them to go get ready and grab their stuff.

Get them to the game on time. Most of our coaches ask for players to arrive 45 minutes before the game starts. This allows for a proper amount of time to warm up, talk about the game plan, etc. Showing up late can result in a rushed warm up (and potential injuries as a result), a distraction to the team and a lesson to your child that being late is OK. The kids on our older teams who drive themselves and show up late are generally the same kids whose parents were dropping them off late before the kids started driving. Teaching them punctuality early is super valuable as they get older – think about things like their college classes, job interviews, etc.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Soccer-Player_web.jpgLet’s face it: most athletes, particularly teenage athletes, are mentally under-trained. While they might acknowledge that the mind is important to their sport, they don’t always have a plan to integrate mental skills into their physical training. Just like physical skills, there are some mental skills that athletes have, and some that they need to learn.

When kids play sports, they learn things they don’t learn elsewhere. We’re all familiar with the important lessons gained through participation in sports, such as teamwork, goal-setting, perseverance, responsibility, and dedication. And these lessons involve skills that make up mental strength.

Dr. Mara Smith, a sports psychologist who consults with various national governing bodies including USA Hockey, USA Gymnastics, US Figure Skating, USA Bobsled and USA Luge, offers three ways parents can help their kids understand and build their mental strength through sports.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_multiplesports_web.jpgThere are a bevy of benefits for kids who play multiple sports. These include becoming better overall athletes from engaging in multiple disciplines; learning to be smarter and more creative players; and staying more active and having more fun in athletics. In addition, research shows that the majority of athletes who go on to play college sports come from multi-sport backgrounds.

According to various studies, the benefits of children playing multiple sports far outweigh the disadvantages. For instance, a study from Ohio State University reported that children who specialize and only play one sport early on are more likely to experience physical inactivity as an adult. Another study from Loyola University found that up to 93 percent of athletes who play just one sport are more likely to be injured than those who play several. Furthermore, data also shows that children who specialize in only one sport are more likely to suffer from burnout and lack of enjoyment with that sport over time.

As you can see, there are many benefits to being involved in multiple sports. However, what if your child wants to pick just one to focus on? Here’s a look at how to encourage your children to get involved with multiple sports:

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