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Advice Jun 06, 2022

Youth soccer players SIX TIMES more likely to be unhappy at their club if it doesn’t communicate with their parents

Co-published with The Coaching Manual

Last month, The Coaching Manual surveyed thousands of player parents as part of the TCM Parent Survey 2022, and some of the results make for very interesting reading.

Parents of youth soccer players (aged 4-16) from around the world were asked a number of questions: about their child’s happiness in the sport, satisfaction with their current club, and whether or not they were likely to quit soccer altogether soon.

One of the more interesting findings from the TCM Parent Survey – which had more than 20,000 responses – was that only 4% of children whose club sends regular parent communications (such as practice guides or nutrition guides) said they were unhappy, compared with 23.6% whose club does not send such communications.

In other words, children in the latter category were six times more likely to be unhappy – a pattern that was consistent worldwide.

The survey made specific reference to the type of communications a club might send to parents, including newsletters to inform parents of the club’s latest and upcoming ongoings, as well as actionable guides that help them support their child’s soccer journey from at home and on the touchline.

Chris Barton, founder of The Coaching Manual, who carried out the research, said: “We’re not surprised that player happiness is connected to club communications in this way. The number one stakeholder in any young player’s soccer journey is the parent – they ultimately make (or approve) every decision about their child’s involvement in the sport, including which club they play for.”

“We found that many clubs had a disconnect between the training field and the parent, which can be bridged by working towards an open and communicative relationship between the club and its players’ caregivers. The reason we conducted the survey was to better understand the current state of club/parent relationships, and fill in any gaps we, the worldwide soccer community, may be missing.

“It is vital for parents to take an interest in their child’s soccer journey in order for them to get the most out of their overall experience.”

What does this mean for clubs?

More and more clubs these days have communications strategies that involve sending materials for the benefit of their players’ parents as well as their players. These include:

  • Matchday guides
  • At-home practice guides
  • Nutrition guides
  • Injury support guides
  • Mental health support guides

The Coaching Manual offers a library of invaluable guides that are ideal for sharing with your players’ parents, thereby including them in their child’s soccer journey in a supportive and positive way. Our content includes a comprehensive parent guide to creating a soccer routine that you can see for free here.

The full report can be found here:

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