It is very normal if your child is hesitant to join the group at first. It takes a while for some children to warm up to the coaches and to the idea of playing games with other kids. Here are some tips to help newcomers between the ages of 3 to 6:
- Be encouraging but never pressure your child to participate. It often happens that the child is still adjusting to the group and needs to watch first before joining in.
- Comments like ‘good job!’, ‘nice try!” and ‘I’m so proud of you!’ really make a difference when said even for the simplest achievements like running, kicking the ball or following a basic instruction.
- There are some children who need their parents by their side while doing the drills. This works for some but we do suggest slowly “letting go” and encouraging your child to try it by himself/herself once you see him/her getting comfortable with the surroundings, especially if your child is 4 years old or above. In any case, guardians or parents on the field with their child are requested be conscious of where they position themselves, in order not to block the view of their child or the other participants from seeing the coach or the demonstrations being shown.
- It is expected that their attention span is short and they may leave the field in the middle of the session looking for their mommies and daddies. This is normal. Some days they may be more attentive and on other days, completely not in the mood to play. Through experience, we have seen that kids who arrive late or take naps right before soccer time are not immediately participative. Please try to come at least 10 mins. before the session starts so your child has time to get settled in.
A scrimmage is played in the last 10-15 mins. of the session. A lot of kids in this age bracket cannot comprehend why there is only one ball for all the children. However they still engage in a scrimmage so that they are exposed to the actual game of soccer even if they are in the “my ball only” stage. If your child joins all the activities except scrimmage, we suggest keeping him/ her near the field watching the game so that he/she can still see how it is being played. Having you by his/her side explaining the nature of the game while it’s going on might aid in his/her participation later on.