On Sunday, November 26th, an enthusiastic group of players and parents joined me for a winter showcase preparation clinic. I immensely enjoyed the competitive spirits of the girls and picking their brains between parts of the session to learn their thoughts and feelings about the showcase and how they were preparing for it. Our conversations focused on the importance of positive, assertive decision-making on the field as an integral milestone in their soccer development.
The clinic was a great opportunity for parents, too, as they sat adjacent to the field and were able to ask me some tough but insightful questions throughout the session. My message to the parents emphasized their role in helping the girls mentally and emotionally prepare before training sessions and games. This is an oft-overlooked topic, but incredibly important as it will enable a smoother transition for the girls when they arrive at college. I was also pleased to have an opportunity to share some of the insights I’ve gained from college coaches across the country, helping parents and players understand what these coaches look for in potential players tactically, technically, mentally, and even emotionally.
Overall, it was a tremendous afternoon. Parents were able to address questions and concerns they had, while the players were able to show their growth and get clarification on tactical and technical aspects of the game. I’m certain that all of the participants now have a better understanding of the responsibilities of the player, coach and parents in this stage of their athletic careers. Best of luck in Sarasota!
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Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.