An important goal of the “parent-trainer” is to (at times) give your kids absolute autonomy during their workouts. This means, that even 7-year olds, should be able to complete a training session on their own with little to no involvement from the parent or trainer.
Why is Autonomy Important?
According to research summarized in the blog Good Therapy, when children are autonomous, they are more likely to feel capable of making their own healthy choices. By supporting children in the development of autonomy and agency, parents also help children learn about family values, social norms, and essential rules. Within a soccer context, you don’t want a situation where your child is only willing to practice when they are being coaxed, pushed, or given an external reward. Giving them autonomy over their own sessions is a way to promote long-term intrinsic motivation and self-determination.
But at times, shouldn’t the child receive instruction and guidance from an adult? Of course, there is. Individual training such as this is only one aspect of training. I would go so far as to say, the most important aspect of this sort of training is not even the soccer skills gained. We are teaching our children life lessons far more important than any particular soccer skill. We are teaching our children that;
Getting ahead of others [regardless of the area you choose] requires that you practice hard and practice smart.
Why Before Practice?
- My son is already geared up to attend practice
- The routines are only five to ten minutes and he has the entire car ride to recover
- The cumulative benefits are insurmountable
- Arriving early is an important life lesson (over the course of a season, your child will get nearly 60 hours of extra training).
I am cementing those life lessons into my son and encourage you to do the same. Share your thoughts below and join the Anytime Soccer Training Facebook Group.