Just as we as coaches need to be aware of the impact our verbal and non-verbal communication can have on our players' experience with soccer so do the Parents of our players. As a parent, you have a tremendous impact on your child’s experience with goalkeeping by your reactions in the moment that goal is scored.
I recently found a great article from The Positive Coaching Alliance which talks about filling what they call the "emotional tank" of our teammates through actions such as recognizing great effort and encouraging teammates to recover from mistakes. This article was written for teams at the high school level but filling the "emotional tank" of players is important at every age. This is especially meaningful for our youngest goalkeepers in the moment just after they have let in a goal. Getting scored on can be very upsetting because he or she might feel like the goal was all their fault and they let down their team. You can take this uncomfortable moment and help make it a positive learning experience for your child. As a parent, your general encouragement just after a goal is scored can help your child learn to work through their mistakes confidently. It is important your child hears this support when that goal is scored - whether it be a verbal “Nice try”, “Great effort!” or a non-verbal smile to them ensuring them that everything will be okay.
Your child is likely playing in goal because they really enjoy making saves and being in the goal when things go well so let’s use the uncomfortable moment just after that goal is scored to fill their emotional tank and help foster their enjoyment of goalkeeping to keep them playing in goal! The full article from the Positive Coaching Alliance can be found on their website: https://www.positivecoach.org/
Founder and Director of Coaching