My opinion – by Rui Oliveira

Please, let the kids play!

(part 2)

Due to the important role directors play in soccer and player evolution, it is crucial that they respect the different stages of players development and create the necessary conditions for coaches to properly fulfill their duties without thinking that their job is at risk just because they aren’t winning. Instead, coaches should be focusing on the appropriate development of their players to provide them the best conditions and space to grow.

Clubs should not be recognized just because they win some games or achieve good results in their respective district championships but because they correctly develop their youth players, allowing them to play for the most recognized clubs around the world (so that the best can train with the best) and even providing them the opportunity to play for the national team.

It is also necessary to send an important message to the parents:

  • Don’t think of your kids as “golden bars” or “retirement saving funds”. Your kids will always do everything to do their best, and if they do not become professional players at least they will be good fans, respecting the show and promoting ethical behaviors;
  • Positively help your kids when their training or competitions don’t go as planned;
  • As spectators, respect and appreciate the abilities of every kid playing because, remember, your kids are also playing and they do not play alone. Applaud, don’t whistle, don’t insult anyone and understand the difficult role of the referee;
  • Don´t give instructions, because you may contradict the coach ideias, which can confuse your kid, increasing the difficulty of decision-making process; 
  • Parents also play! They play from the outside – how they encourage and get involved in their kids´s activity will influence their performance.

Please…let the kids play!