What to Do When Soccer is Shut Down: 3 Experts’ Tips for Parents During #COVID19

What to Do When Soccer is Shut Down: 3 Experts’ Tips for Parents During #COVID19

Most local soccer governing bodies have, along with professional leagues and national soccer federations, shut down play for at least the next few weeks. Your local soccer club has also probably suspended practices and games due to COVID19 concerns. Soccer worldwide — from youth soccer all the way up to professional and global leagues — has come to a halt.

What can parents of soccer players do in a world where all team sports have shut down?

Families with young soccer players who used to have hours and days on the soccer field with their teams are now in charge of finding their own ways to train and stay active. SoccerNation reached out to the experts to gather ideas for soccer moms and dads whose kids will soon be bouncing off the proverbial walls.

Shannon MacMillan: Get out in the back yard. And this may be a good break…

Dr. Annemarie Alf and Shannon Mac Millan, SD Loyal

Shannon Mac Millan is a senior technical advisor to San Diego Loyal Soccer Club, a US Soccer legend, and also Director of Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks. DMCV Sharks recently announced that they have shut down all training and club activities for a minimum of two weeks.

Her tips for parents: “Keep getting on the ball. Get out in the back yard or the park. Practice juggling or just hitting the ball against a wall. Stay fit and healthy. This will also be a good break for some of these kids that haven’t had a break in years!”

Shawn Beyer: Play Inside (sorry moms), look into private training, and gain self-discipline

Shawn Beyer is a scout for US Soccer with years of coaching and professional soccer experience. He said:

“I know it sounds crazy but we use a smaller softer ball and designate areas where it’s OK to play inside the house.  This works well with all this rainy weather we’re currently having, too.”

“Also, if you have a private coach or trainer with all of the cancellations of tournaments and practices, it could be a great way to get some personalized and focused attention. Ask your coach or your club if they have any suggestions for private training if you’re unsure where to go.”

“This is also a great opportunity to improve self-discipline. The truth is every high-level player finds time to train alone. Team training isn’t enough to reach a high level. Self-motivation is crucial. That means taking the time to train and practice on your own.”

Landon Donovan: FIFA teaches strategy and the global game

This interview is a few years old, but relevant for parents today — especially with every major league around the world having suspended play. Landon Donovan, US Soccer LegenD and SD Loyal head coach, says video games made him a better player.

He told The Post Game, “…the ability to understand the game at a higher level by watching was really important. And then the biggest thing was just learning player names, all that stuff around the world. So it gave me an education in soccer that I couldn’t have gotten elsewhere.”

Donovan concluded, “…everything in moderation, everything responsibly. Same holds true for video games. … If you play a half hour a day, it’s not the worst thing.”

Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep enjoying The Beautiful Game however you can. (online FIFA tourney anyone??)