View Full Version : Any Advice To Give My 14 Year Old Daughter?
Sep 23, '11, 11:59 AM
Regarding Soccer? She is a really good player (has played club level for 3 years and just made a premier level team this year). She made her High School J.V. team which is quite an accomplishment (the Varsity team are defending State Champions) and unless you have been playing club level soccer; you really don't stand a chance of making the team. Her coach seems good and she is getting her fair share of playing time but looks awful on the pitch. The competition is weaker than what she is accustomed so something is going on. We talked about it and she told me that the Sophmores (she is a Freshman) are extremely critical, point out every mistake, and her confidence is shot. Apparently, they do it to all of the Freshman but it is affecting my daughter the most. I have made a point of picking 2 or 3 really good things she did well in a game and encourage her to keep trying and I'm her #1 fan. Any other advice? She loves playing soccer but the constant criticism from her older teammates is affecting her big time. I have thought about emailing the coach and just pointing out what is going on and the impact it is having, but talk myself out of it thinking she just needs to learn to be tough and I might come across sounding like the whiney parent. Maybe I just let it go and keep encouragement. I have learned from having a daughter, this is a really awkward age for them and don't know what if anything else I can do to help build her self-esteem. All advice welcome.
Sep 23, '11, 12:20 PM
Yea, if it was me I wouldn't complain to the coach
After all is said and done it will get back to them that she couldn't take it and they'll ride her even more.
Best thing to do is assure her they are putting her to a test to see if she's tough enough.
Tell her it wont last forever and someday SHE will be putting the newbees to the test.
Sep 23, '11, 12:32 PM
Under no circumstances would I email the coach!
This is normal and if she is as good as you say (not doubting, just saying) then it will work itself out. My boy went through the same thing last year. I told him to hang in there, play overly agressive and not to take any of their "S". He has now gained their respect on his terms, not yours or the coaches . . . My two pennies!
Sep 23, '11, 12:42 PM
I'm not sure if this will help - and I have no idea about sports, but that reminds me of being younger and learning to deal with criticism about my creative pursuits. In my opinion it's extremely important to learn to listen to criticism AND keep confident in order to create great work. I think you have to do both - and it's really hard to learn to balance the two.
The best advice I ever got was from a professor who was fairly zen (though I have no idea if this advice is zen). It went something like this:
Learn to listen to all criticism - no matter who it's from - consider all criticism. Don't spend energy arguing if you don't agree (even in your own head). Mentally crumple up the criticism you don't agree with and throw it away - you never have to think about it again. Only keep the criticism you agree with.
I have no idea if that helps me in the big picture - or even if it's possible to do - but it's stuck with me and it has refocused me and defused me in a few situations.
Maybe just try to humanize the sophomores a bit? Remind her that the sophomores on her team might have more experience with soccer, but they're still very young, and not that experienced about giving helpful criticism to people. They have a lot to learn too.
Sep 23, '11, 1:01 PM
Here’s my advice that will allow you to kill two birds with one stone, or have your cake and eat it to; it all depends on whether you hate birds or like to eat cake… ;)
First, do not contact the coach. It will make it worse at this stage. But have her keep some sort of offline diary of her experiences on the team. All of them; good and bad. Putting stuff down in writing like this will help place perspective on what is happening, and hopefully she will see by herself, “Hey, I’m not doing that bad!” And it will also help her see larger patterns in incidents, such as—just making something up for example’s sake—every time a certain team member screws up, they then go on a tear and blame others. She can then see “Oh, that’s just them being jerks when they screw up!”
On the other side of things, keeping a log/diary of this stuff can be helpful if you as a parent has to actually have to step in to talk to the coach. You can then say, “Look, this has been happening for months. I didn’t want to contact you right away because I wanted her to learn on her own, but this is clearly out of hand and is your responsibility…”
So that way it’s positive reinforcement on the one hand, and it’s evidence to throw in the coach’s face later on if things are out of control. Good luck!
Sep 24, '11, 8:33 PM
Thanks for the advice. My daughter played in a scrimmage today with her new club team and was outstanding. The level of competition was much more difficult than the High School level so this is definitely something in her head. I made sure to tell her how well she played today and encouraged her to play at the same level of intensity at High School games. I also found out recently that one of her H.S. teammates who has been particularly critical was called out at practice the other day during a scrimmage when my daughter called for a pass and she refused to pass it to her. The coach stopped the scrimmage and made it clear that if someone is wide open and calling for the ball, you will pass that ball to the open player or you will sit the bench. I hope that our female members will not take offense to this but have noticed that girls can be really nasty to one another. Guys just get physical if there is a problem on a sports team....girls seem to mess with others at a mental level which is horrible. Hopefully, the success she experienced today will carry over onto the H.S. pitch.
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