Parents of U5 and U6 players play an active part in the enjoyment their children have in youth soccer.
Encouraging them to try new things is step one. Now that they are out there kicking, running, laughing, falling down and all chasing the ball simultaneously, they need positive reinforcement.
Many parents during matches, and sometimes even during training sessions, yell out to the kids what to do and when to do it. They cheer when things go right and sometimes cry out in anguish when they don’t. They are trying to be positive and help the kids. But what many adults have forgotten from when they were 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-years-old is that children at those ages can only focus on a limited number of tasks at one time.
Indeed, it takes all of the attention capacity of an U5 and U6 players to control the ball. This is because they are still developing basic balance, coordination and agility. Also, in a 3 versus 3 game, the odds for the player with the ball are generally 1 versus 5. So during a game, the player needs to focus on the task at hand — trying to control the ball.
Unfortunately, a young child can be distracted by all of the adults yelling from the sideline. Now the child has to make a choice, either play the ball or listen to the parents.
The match environment simply becomes more complex each year as there are new rules to learn, more players on the field, new tactics to learn and more space to cover. So the lesson is clear--- If parents want to help the kids play their best, support them by sitting back and enjoying the game.