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Rick Davis On Pre-Game Preparation Tips For Parents

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Rick Davis, a PCA National Advisory Board Member, is a retired professional soccer player and former member of the U.S. National Team. He played with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, and was named Player of the Year in 1979. Davis was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001 and served as Executive Director of AYSO.

As an experienced coach at the youth levels, with his own kids and others, Davis relies on two pre-game preparation strategies. First, he asks the kids if they are ready to play. If they say they are ready, he helps bolster their confidence. If they say they don’t feel prepared, either mentally or physically, he uses it as a teachable moment to help players better prepare before the next game. Of course, teaching kids to prepare in general for a task at hand is an important life lesson and aspect of character development.

Davis always tries to bring fun back into sight before the start of a game, emphasizing that fun is the most important aspect for youth players and that coaches and parents should make it a pre-game ritual to remind players to have fun.