This short article asks a question about a very important stakeholder in the young soccer player’s life; the parent.

Can parents’ ambitions & concerns for their son/daughter’s development be addressed through objective output (video & data)?

The role of parents in the coach-player relationship is becoming increasingly important to all parties. The USSF coach education syllabus even includes an entire section on how coaches should manage this relationship with parents. Their presentation breakdown includes the statement:

“Influence off-the-field circumstances and persons in order to create the best possible conditions for the development and performance of the players”

In ongoing conversations with US & Canadian Technical & Academy Directors, Head Coaches and Heads of Player Development, we found interactions with parents (and demands thereof) have become an increasingly headache for clubs & academies.

Parents tend to bring up their issues as they see them. Examples include:

  • Not enough game-time for their son/daughter
  • Perceived bias against their son/daughter over a period of games
  • Their son/daughter not being played in their best position
  • Results not matching the ambition of the parents
  • FOMO – Fear Of their child Missing Out on a college spot due to poor team results (often misconceived).

Can clubs & academies utilize individual video & performance data output to address some of these issues?

What can clubs & academies do to assuage their concerns?

Speaking with key figures within several US & Canadian clubs across the OPDL, MLS Next, Girls Academy and ECNL, they believe individual player performance data output (with video clips as backup) can appease a lot of parents’ concerns.

The coaches & directors firmly believe that:

  • Objective data output allows them to take the emotion away from the parents’ situation – addressing problems highlighted by the parent & showing unbiased output to address these.
  • Facilities are often a deal breaker for parents (e.g. training, nutritional, staffing, stadiums). Showcasing a data perspective tool towards their children’s development is a facility that will be a competitive advantage in many areas – one to impress & appease those parents usually keen to switch clubs for their children’s benefit.
  • In the opinion of those we spoke with, bespoke player data profiles can massively complement & enhance a player’s chances of impressing college recruiters. Video highlight reels are useful but lacking in context – a bespoke player development data profile offers that missing context.

The issue of a strong & effective coach-parent relationship is extremely important – important enough for coach education syllabuses to include learnings as part of their modules.

It is important that the coach/director at each club & academy is fully focused on:

  1. Informing parents at each stage of their son/daughter’s development pathway.
  2. Involving parents by providing innovations to enhance the player’s chance of earning a college scholarship.
  3. Impressing parents by investing in their son/daughter’s development environment through innovative tools to provide a cutting-edge player pathway.

Meeting these three I’s will go a long way to influencing off-field circumstances & persons.

Can objective video & data output help towards this outcome?

At PlayerStat Data, our 360° Player Development data platform will reimagine the way soccer clubs & academies deal with their youth players & their development pathways. Marrying five key facets of player development into one platform, clubs & academies will access a level of insights at PlayerStat Data unavailable anywhere else.

Reach out to us at for further information – clubs & academies, enhance your own operations by fully powering their players’ development pathways.

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