Learning from Mistakes
A young child learns through experience. Actually, this applies to all of us. Someone can tell us "do this" or "don't do that" or we can even read some good advice in a book (or a blog), but it rarely seems to sink in until we experience it. The image to the left is proof of that. Nothing teaches us a lesson like a huge mistake. Of course, we don't want our children making huge mistakes, so we let them make the little ones. Soccer gives us a chance to let the children make a million mistakes and learn from them. If mistakes are permitted and the natural consequences allowed to follow, the children will learn so much quicker than if they are never allowed to make the mistake.
Think about when you make a mistake. Don't the consequences usually hurt enough without someone adding to it? How do you react when someone you care about adds fuel to the fire with a comment that you should have done it differently? Your kids feel the same discouragement when they make a mistake and you chime in with your 2 cents. It will make them want to avoid the mistake, but will it encourage them to be creative? Instead, they will allow themselves to be micromanaged through the practices and games. They will appear to be doing the right thing, but the child will lack the true understanding that allows them to grow. They will become fearful of showing any initiative.
Instead, value the creativity and courage a child exhibits when they play boldly. When we free the child, we free the child to make mistakes. This is how they build understanding. Success is gained by working through failures.