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So my kid wants to play soccer!! What can I do as a parent to give my child the best possible opportunity to maximize their ability to go as far as possible in the game of soccer?

  1. Self Practice: Ensure your child is practicing at home.  You need to work with your child, if at least be a ball returner for them as much as you can at home.  Practicing at home allows players to really figure the game out at a faster rate and it helps making techniques learned at team, camp and Private lessons, second nature.  As the players get older and the game gets faster,  the more the intangibles of the game would be a requirement and self practice is the best way to ensure players have the instincts and savvy required to excel.
  2. Team Practice:  Any skills based practice would help players develop.  Players need to practice with their teams and interact with other players to experiment, learn new techniques, learn from teammates, and learn to play as a team.
  3. Games: The game is the best teacher. Players should really approach games as a time to enjoy the game while challenging them to get better each game. Games do not need to be organized but a regular pick up game can do wonders for players.
  4. Private Lessons:  Private lessons can be very helpful.  Choose a coach that can really challenge your child to improve.  Not all private lessons are the same, I recommend choosing a coach strong in the areas of foot skills, coordination, and Ball Mastery.  Private lessons can be a great place to really polish your skills and learn new one quickly.  Private lessons can be very expensive so may not be available to all players but if 1,2 and 3 are been done then privates may not be needed.
  5. Camps: Camp is a great way for players to have fun and learn at the same time.  Less expensive than privates but players will usually get out of camps equal results to the effort they put in.  Try to figure out if the camp will deliver what they advertise and look for the best value not necessary the cheapest or the most expensive.  Skills base is best of course.  Player in 10-12 grades should look into attending camps at schools they believe they would like to play.
  6. Watch the game live and on TV.  Older and professional players went through the same growth process academy players are going through currently so players can watch the pros and see how they resolve problems on the field and the techniques the use to help them succeed.  Player’s can find a player to emulate as well.
  7. Dream. Dream. Dream.
  8. Psychological Preparation:  Players must eventually learn how to approach everything they do with the mindset of getting the most out of every activity they are involved in.  If this is done, players will understand competition and put themselves in a position to compete at a high level.
  9. Good Citizen:  Players should strive to be coachable, respectful, and humble. Players must manage their time in a way that allows them to succeed in the classroom and on the field and must avoid elements that will take away from either.
  10. Practice some more

Justin Phillip: NEOFC ADOC.