Toddlers: 24 Months+

3 Year Old Soccer Class - Need help/advice!

Took DS1 to his first soccer practice yesterday.  It was very informal, a class for 3-6 year olds offered by the city parks & rec department.  There was one "coach" (just a lady who worked in the office) and about 12 kids.  They even let DS2 participate :)

Well, DS1 was being his usual spacey, non-participating self. He's not much of a joiner, so he was off looking for acorns, carrying the soccer balls around, and chasing "T-rexes" in the bushes.  Completely not listening to the teacher or doing any of the soccer drills.

Here's my question: What is my role in keeping him focused?  I don't want to overstep my bounds and try to be the coach/teacher, but I was definitely instructing DS1 to listen to the teacher and to participate in the exercises.  With his spacey attitude, it sometimes felt like I was constantly reminding him to listen and telling him to kick the ball, etc.

Am I supposed to help him stay on task, or am I supposed to just let the coach handle it?


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Re: 3 Year Old Soccer Class - Need help/advice!

  • I would just ask the coach.  Since it's really informal she probably doesn't mind you helping your child focus and listen, but I'd ask just to be sure.
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  • What are the other parents doing? Are they helping with their kids? If they are, I would definitely step in and help out your DS. If it doesn't look like any other parents are, I'd take the coach aside after practice and ask if its appropriate for you to help out. I was an All-American soccer player and played for 15+ years, coached an reffed and I would always see parents helping out! It doesn't usually get dicey until travel soccer! Hope he enjoys it, I loved every minute!
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  • I too would ask the coach what she would prefer.

    But in general if he is walking off the field and into the bushes I'd probably go get him. I wouldn't want to have the coach having to chase after him and leave the other kids on the field.

    If he's with the team but just not listening or not really paying attention, I'd probably ignore it and let the coach deal with it if she felt it was an issue. 

  • Didn't read the others but I'd talk to the coach and ask her what she'd like you do to. 12 kids between 3 & 6 is a lot of kids & a lot of attention spans so she may appreciate if you try to get him back on course rather than her having to take time to engage the little ones when the 5 & 6 yr olds are trying to do their thing.

  • 1. Sounds to me like the "coach" is not doing her job in keeping the kids engaged. I coached soccer to young kids for a short while and one thing they taught us was that each kid should have a ball, and you find "drills" where all kids are doing something all the standing in line or waiting your turn. These kids are too young for that. If there is a lot of standing around time, then kids get restless.


    2. Your DS may not be ready for something like that.

    It's healthy for him to want to go explore and use his imagination. I have played soccer my whole life and personally think 3 is too young to start a team sport. I say let him do what he wants to do and don't try to make him interested in something he's not. Maybe another year or two and he will be into it.



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