Kids will play football in any weather, but what about the parents? The Kids Coach Naomi Richards looks at how to brave the winter weather and show your support from the touchlines.
It has just started getting colder and my boys have changed from doing swimming on a Sunday morning to doing rugby outside instead.
I must admit I am not too good with the cold – standing outside watching them - and would have been happier for them to continue swimming. However, they wanted to change and they can swim unaided, so I was happy to take a new direction. So now I have a sport outside... during the winter.
Football is the same. Practice, games, training – they all happen whatever the weather and, as it gets colder, there will be no stopping your son or daughter wanting to play. They can put a few extra clothes on and are happy to be doing what they are doing. After all, they will warm up quite quickly running around. But what about the parents?
It can be hard for someone who is new to being a football parent. They have to adjust to the cold and the wet. Should they stop their child playing because they can’t hack the weather and the length of time they are outside? Or use this as a reason to just drop off their child and pick them up when football is over?
In my eyes, when a child has a dream and enthusiasm to do something we should allow them to do it, follow their lead and support them all the way. So I think grab an extra layer, a flask of coffee and something to eat and put a smile on your face as you go out of the door.
Perhaps, if you are feeling sporty, put on your gym kit and go for a run whilst they are training. That’s what I have started to do. Your child will then feel you are on their side and that you support them.
Moods can also be affected when you are cold and, as parents, we don’t want to be taking our bad moods onto the sidelines. We have to remember that our children have chosen to do this sport and that we are going to be by their side and encourage them to play well and do their best.
To keep up your enthusiasm, talk to other parents, remind yourself why you are doing this and, more importantly, don’t make your child feel guilty about you ‘having’ to be outside doing something for them.
Her first book, The Parent's Toolkit, shares key life tools for you to help your children successfully navigate their own childhood problems and grow up into happy, confident and resilient young adults.
The Parent's Toolkit was described by The Sun as “clear and to the point... a must-read for parents”. It is published by Vermillion and is available to buy at Amazon.co.uk.
Put your questions to The Kids Coach
If you are a parent or youth coach and you would like Naomi's advice on any issue that might affect a young footballer, then put your question to her. You can leave a comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @thekidscoach.
All enquiries will be treated confidentially and they may just be featured, anonymously, in next month's column. We look forward to hearing from you!
Other articles by The Kids Coach:
* Life lessons from football (part II)
* Life lessons from football (part I)
* What's in a word?
* How to reduce football stress
* Keeping the balance
* What if my child wants to quit?
* Does your child respect their peers?
* Keeping the belief going
* Football crazy, football mad
* It's the taking part that counts
* Giving young players confidence to try new things
* Parents: To shout or not to shout?
* Young footballers must see respect to show respect