The initial game is the first time many (most?) of the parents will take an active interest in their kid’s soccer season. When little Suzie or Jonny are on the field and either doing above average or below average is when parents’ start immediately judging your coaching abilities. They may even have completely ignored all your great communication to date–so be it!
Knowing that reality, take the time to praise the good with the kids AND adults. NEVER even mention the game result, there’s simply no need; nowhere in anything they’ve heard from you or the league has mentioned scoring goals, winning, or losing as an objective. Don’t undo that by focusing on it now.
Keep the message very upbeat and at the very end you can mention the small course corrections you’ll be taking in practice to let the parents know that you saw the same things they did during the game, and that you’re addressing them in a positive way. That’s all you can ever do.
I hope you enjoyed our first game as much as my daughter and I did! Coach Mike and I were especially proud of girls showing off some of their new skills during the game. We saw some pull backs with the ball, we got better on spacing, and some of the girls were actively looking to make passes. A great start!
We also really appreciated all the positive cheering and respect shown to our volunteers from our parents. I think the girls all really enjoyed the doughnuts after the game, thank you Jones family! You all are great, much appreciated!
We’ll see you at practice on Monday. We’ll continue our work on our shape and introduce some additional games to get all our girls more used to taking an active step with the ball (dribbling, passing, shooting, etc) instead of just winding up and taking a kick. Should be fun!
Firefly Fever is in the air!