Advice from USWNT Legends Part 2: Supportive Soccer Parenting

Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini Hoch are TeamFirst. These US Women’s National Team legends coach at the Berkshire Soccer Academy. Each summer they offer a world-class, 1-week overnight soccer camp experience.

The trio leads 8 on-field training sessions, participates in our closing ceremony Q&A. They sign autographs and take a photo with each athlete. This program is the only one to offer world-class soccer coaching in an overnight camp environment!

Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini Hoch provide unique perspectives from their experiences from their days of youth soccer to winning gold medals. In part 2 of our Q&A series, the women were asked to discuss how their parents showed them support, each in their own way, and what it meant to them as players in their early years through their professional careers.

Mia Hamm: Hands-Off Support Allows for Personal Motivation

Mia Hamm, being the fourth child of six, did not have her parents’ undivided attention for all of her games and practices. Because of this, she experienced more hands-off support from her parents.

“One of the things I appreciated was the fact that, kind of, our sports, and especially soccer, was our passion. It wasn’t something that [our father] wanted for us.” – Mia Hamm

She and her siblings were able to decide what activities they wanted to pursue without feeling pressure from their parents. It was also important that they were enjoying themselves in whatever activity they chose. This type of support allowed her to motivate herself to become a better player as opposed to feeling as though her parents were trying to “live through her.”

Tisha Venturini Hoch: Positive Reactions Lead to Greater Gains

Tisha Venturini Hoch, however, had a bit of a different experience from Mia. Her parents attended almost all of her games, but she still never felt any pressure from them, win or lose.

“They just came out and cheered and had a good time. If I won the game, great. If I lost, great. If I didn’t play well, didn’t matter. We rode home and there was no tension or anything.” – Tisha Venturini Hoch

She was also given the opportunity to become more well-rounded, trying several different activities outside of simply playing soccer.

“They also let me play whatever I wanted to. I did all different sports, and played musical instruments… I wasn’t just meant to be one thing.” – Tisha Venturini Hoch

Kristine Lilly: Always Finish What You Started

Kristine Lilly had similarly supportive parents to Tisha, but with the understanding that what she started had to be seen through to the end.

“The one thing my parents always said is ‘You can try anything you want, you just can’t quit in the middle of it.'” – Kristine Lilly

Being a supportive parent is important in any activity your child decides to pursue. While the type of support you give your child may differ from the style of other parents, Kristine sums up the most important thing that every child should know:

“No matter what, if you win, lose, whatever you do, your parents are proud of you. And you just got to remember that. Yeah, it’s more fun when you win, but no matter what happens, they’re going to be proud of you.” – Kristine Lilly

Future Soccer Stars Need Supportive Parents

While you are providing your daughter the opportunity to learn valuable skills to use on the field, understanding what it means to be supportive parents throughout her life is just as important. Showing your child support doesn’t necessarily mean coming to every game or practice. Simply reminding them that you are proud of their accomplishments and attempts will help foster their confidence as they learn and grow. Success does not come without failure, but providing your child with the knowledge that they have a support system behind them will only help to encourage them to keep trying, persevering, and overcoming obstacles.

Train with Mia, Kristine and Tish

Join TeamFirst Soccer Academy, comprised of U.S. Women’s National Team players Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini Hoch, as they visit Berkshire Soccer Academy for their 5th year! Young players will be given the opportunity to learn via world-class coaching throughout the overnight camp experience.

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