Stanger Pro - Parent Top Tips

No more shattered dreams – how parents can help their kids ‘survive’ football academies

At certain times of the year you hear stories in the media about kid’s whose “dreams have been shattered” after being released from football academies. These stories are often accompanied by anguished comments from parents who want to know, “what are they going to do now?” And yet being released from academies has been part of football for years. So what can parents do to help?

Not an easy question to answer, but one thing parents can do is help keep their kids focused on the ‘right’ dream. If your son or daughters dream is to get a contract at a BIG club then that dream can all too easily be shattered by someone else, often without much justification – “sorry, we just don’t think they’ll make it”. The dream they are focused on is not within their control and any sense that this dream won’t become a reality can be very damaging to their self-esteem.

Instead, encourage them to ‘dream’ of being the best possible player they can be and help keep them focused on the things they need to do that will make that a reality – whatever football throws at them.

If they genuinely love playing football they will find places to play and train that will help them learn how to become the best they can be. This won’t mean they won’t be disappointed if they miss a great opportunity at a top academy. But it will help to keep them focused on what to do now rather dwelling on whether a decision was fair or not. Or worse still, giving up.

Dreams are much harder to shatter if they are in your control. Your job as a parent is to help keep them focused on ‘right’ dream.

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