Website Manager

Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association

Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association


Soccer Parenting Association

At LHSA, we are dedicated to inspiring your child's passion for soccer. To support this goal, we have obtained a membership to the Soccer Parent Resource Center for all parents and coaches in the club. We take pride in being a Club Member of the Soccer Parenting Association. We believe that parents of youth soccer players can play a crucial role in enhancing the game, and we advocate for a more collaborative environment involving coaches, parents, clubs, and players for the best interest of player development.

The mission of the Soccer Parenting Association is to empower parents to inspire players, and we encourage you to explore the content and community at Soccer Parent Resource Center! The Soccer Parent Resource Center offers courses, videos, monthly live webinars, articles, and interviews with valuable tips, advice, guidance, and support to ensure your child feels inspired by their soccer experience.

To access your free membership and all the valuable content at Soccer Parent Resource Center, simply click the link below to register: Soccer Parenting


The Challenging Soccer Tryout Time of Year

Soccer Tryouts

The time of year when we find ourselves lying awake in bed at night stressing over the future of our young soccer player.

The time of year when we find our hearts beating in our throats as we drop our kids off to a game or practice, trying not to put too much pressure on them to perform well but wanting to make sure they know that every single touch they have on the ball, or run they make off the ball, or communication they have with the coach – may make the difference on their name being on the final roster.

The time of year when we, as parents, can so easily slip from level-headed and supportive parent to CRAZY SOCCER PARENT.

How can we become so irrational?

It is SO HARD to watch our children, so young and innocent, have to battle for a position on the team.

It is SO HARD – especially in our society today where EVERYONE’S A WINNER!– to allow our children to put their heart and body out there – AND POSSIBLY LOSE.

We do our best to keep our stress from our child. We don’t talk too much about the tryouts or soccer, we don’t ask too many questions about how training was, we don’t outwardly let our kids know what is going through our mind….BUT WE ARE GOING CRAZY INSIDE.

Literally, crazy.

Sleeping is hard….

Tears sometimes well up in our eyes at odd moments…(this may be a bit dramatic).

We find ourselves obsessing about our child’s performance (in our head, mind you) every single time they touch the ball in a game.

What is happening? We are usually rather rational parents….Why are we doing this?


We don’t want them to have to go through the disappointment of not making a team and feeling excluded.

We don’t want them to suffer.

All of the crazy emotions are simply a result of our instinct to protect our children….In this case, from the pain of REAL COMPETITION.

In REAL COMPETITION – people win and lose.

In REAL LIFE – people win and lose.

So – with the hope of calming a few of you out there, with the aim of giving a couple of parents on the verge of becoming a CRAZY SOCCER PARENT a better night’s sleep – LET IT GO!

After all…

How many times have we reflected on the shift in our society to this “Everyone Wins” mentality?

How many times have we told our kids the story of:

In Field Day at my elementary school people won and lost. Individuals would win ribbons for each event and at the end of the day there would be an overall Champion Class and a Champion Boy and Champion Girl WINNER based on who had accumulated the most ribbons.”

Or told the story of:

I had to play 4 seasons of Little League baseball before I ever won a trophy and I won it because we finally beat the Orange Crush in the championship game.”

Or personally reflected on the value of the trophy our child proudly displayed on the dresser in their room because they had the distinct honor of FINISHING THE SEASON!

So here were are – right in the middle of the lesson we’ve been wanting to teach our children – the direct opposite lesson that the Finishing the Season trophy taught them…the lesson in REAL COMPETITION.


But we must embrace this lesson in REAL COMPETITION for the long term, positive impact this process will ultimately have on our children.

Rest easy parents on the verge of becoming a CRAZY SOCCER PARENT and do everything you can to prepare your children for the competition:

1.  Tell them how proud you are of them for being willing to battle.

2.  Tell them you believe in them and support them always.

3.  Tell them that you will love them more than they can possibly understand regardless of if they make the team or not.

4.  Tell them that life is full of competition and that they are always going to have benchmarks and moments where they will be graded or evaluated so they need to be brave and confident and work hard.

5.  Tell them that even if they are scared or anxious they should look the coach in the eye and shake hands and thank them for the opportunity.

6.  Tell them to simply have fun out there and love the game.

Isn’t that ultimately what we want out of all of this? For our children to walk away from their sports careers as individuals who:

1.  Are willing to work hard and battle in life.

2.  Are confident of their family support and love.

3.  Are able to deal with the stress of being evaluated in a work environment.

4.  Can look someone in the eye and shake their hand even when they are nervous.

5.  Will face the challenges of life each and every day with a positive attitude.

We always talk about the fact that the primary benefit of youth sports is the life lessons our children learn.

Well – here we are – front and center – TRY OUTS…a perfect lesson…

For parents and kids alike.

5 Ways Parents Can Make a Losing Season a Win

1.  Focus on the Process, Not the Score

I am so very grateful I didn’t have a crazy parent on my team this year who just couldn’t get past the fact we were not winning.  There was no one on the sidelines screaming, there were no complaints to me about the teams’ losing record, rather us adults kept the focus on the process of learning and development that was happening, instead of the score.  That doesn’t mean we didn’t expect the players to show up with a winning mentality – we just didn’t get upset when they didn’t win.  

I set objectives before every game and I shared them with parents in a quick “Pre-Game Huddle” during warm up.  These were objectives such as:  attack from wide positions, pressure-cover-balance defending, get the ball forward faster, always staying focused, receiving the ball with open hips, beating defenders with first touch, or changing the point of attack.  These objectives were linked to our prior practices for the week and sharing them with parents gave them something specific to look for and celebrate when they happened during the match.  It put the focus on the process of learning that was happening, instead of the score.

2.  Trust the Coach

The Parents never lost confidence in me as a coach.  There were no complaints to the club directors and there were no conversations between me and parents that were stressful. I appreciated their trust in me, and told them that numerous times. 

When you are playing against teams that are better than you each week, the losing can make a coach second guess themselves, and that insecurity can morph into a stressful environment quickly.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen because I never lost confidence in myself….and also because the parents were incredibly supportive of me.  I received many messages of encouragement from parents after games and each of those messages was greatly appreciated. 

3.  Develop a Sense of Community

The parents on my team were incredibly intentional about developing a strong sense of community with the team and the result was a season the girls will always remember. The post-game Dairy Queen, the picnic between games at the tournament, the team COVID masks, countless cupcakes, and the Outdoor Firepit Party kept the season especially fun and enjoyable. These moments don’t happen naturally.  My team manager was exceptional and the other parents on the team rallied to support and join the fun.  We found safe ways to interact amongst COVID and therefore strong bonds were formed and friendships (between players and also between parents) were made. 

4.  Control What You Can Control

When your child loses you have embrace the loss and focus on what you, as a parent, have control over.  Do you have control over the decisions your child or their teammates make on the field?  The referee?  The actions the coach is taking? No – but what you do have control over is how you handle yourself.  You can’t make excuses for your child in an effort to protect them.  You can’t try to soften a loss with a comment about how it doesn’t really matter. You can’t blame a referee or speak poorly about a teammates’ decision. Instead, you can focus on your personal response, your sideline behavior, and your post game interactions with your child, the other parents, and the coach.

I appreciated the dedication the parents demonstrated toward the team by getting their child to practices and games on time, rallying to plan and attend social events, always being encouraging from the sideline, and making sure their child arrived with a winning mentality fed by messages of encouragement and support from their parents.

5.  Be Optimistic in the Face of Defeat

Kids pick up cues from their parents on how to feel – and when a parent is upset after a loss, especially one to a better team, the messages can become very confusing for a child who can take these expressions as a personal attack. Let your child lead the way here.  If they are upset – ask them if they want to talk about it. If they are happy and ready for a Slurpee, get them one! 

If they are open to talking after the game, some great questions to ask are:  How do you feel?  What did you learn today?  What was hard?  What was your favorite play you made? 

Of course, I am not privy to how the parents on my team interacted with their child – but I do know I was greeting post game by smiling faces walking across the field toward me.  It was a great feeling, and I am sure the players felt the same emotion looking up and seeing their parents being so optimistic and supportive.

Because the parents on my team handled all the losses during league play with a fantastic attitude, the team was able to continue to learn and develop at maximum capacity.

And it showed.

The season wrapped up this past weekend with a local tournament in which we were placed in the perfect division with some great parity.  The girls were afforded a bit more time to make decisions against players who matched up well athletically to them, and they were amazing. They changed the point of attack, played incredible team defense, looked up and made decisions based on the defenders and the space, and worked hard for one another.  We won two games, tied two games, and finished second in the tournament. 

The mission of Soccer Parenting is to Inspire Players by Empowering Parents and this mission – helping parents understand the power they have to inspire their child - was lived out each week with my team this season.  

The tournament was a fantastic way to end a losing season that could have gone in so many negative directions, but because the parents focused on the process, trusted me, did fun things socially together, controlled their responses to losses, and remained optimistic - the season was able to finish on a high note!



How to be a Supportive Soccer Parent 

Give consistent encouragement and support to the children regardless of the degree of success, the level of skill or time on the field.  
Stress the importance of respect for coaches through discussions with the children, and highlight the critical nature of contributing to the team and its success.  
Serve as role models, see the “big picture” and support all programs and all players.  
Leave coaching to coaches and do not criticize coaching strategies or team performance.  
Avoid putting pressure on children about their performance.  
Why Do Players Play? 
1. To have fun 
2. To make new friends 
3. To improve and learn 
4. To feel good 
5. To wear the uniform  
“Make sure they know that you are there because it is fun for you to watch them participate, not because you want to criticize.”  
Six Guidelines for Soccer Parents

1. Cheer them on
2. Relax and Let Them Play 
3. Yelling Directions = Distraction 
4. Remember, they are “your” genes 
5. Have Reasonable Expectations 
6. Meet with the Coaches when you have a concern or question (a minimum of 24 hours later). 

The greatest gift that you can give to your children throughout their sporting involvement is support. When asked what it is that they would most like from their parents in terms of support, most children suggest encouragement and acceptance of their choices.  
Why Do Players Quit?
1. Criticism and yelling 
2. No playing time 
3. Over emphasis on winning 
4. Poor communication 
5. Fear of making mistakes 
6. Boredom 
7. Not learning  
Four Red Flags for Parents  
1. Living out Dreams:
A parent who is continuing to live personal athletic dreams through his/her child has not released his/her child to the game.   

2. Too Involved:
If a parent tends to share in the credit when the child has done well in sport or has been victorious, the parent is too involved.  
3. Trying Too Hard:
If a parent is trying to continue to coach his child when the child probably knows more about the game than the parent does, he has not released the youth athlete. 
4. Too Serious:
Parents should realize that they may be taking everything a little too seriously. Relax and enjoy your child’s performance, win or lose.   

Find out why YOUR child wants to play soccer!  Ask the real questions?
• Why do YOU want to play soccer? 
• What is fun about soccer for YOU? 
• What do YOU like to hear from ME before, during and after YOUR GAMES?  
Being a Good Soccer Parent

• Encourage your child regardless of his or her degree of success or level of skill. 
• Emphasize enjoyment, development of skills and team play as the cornerstones of your child’s early sports experiences. 
• Leave coaching to coaches and avoid placing too much pressure on your youngster about playing time or performance.
• Be realistic about your child’s future in sports, recognizing that only a few earn a scholarship or sign a professional contract.
• Be there when your child looks to the sidelines for a positive, calm, supportive role model.

I love to watch you play

Watch this video: The Truth About Sports Parents. The Kids Get REAL

Soccer Glossary of Terms

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, played and watched by billions of people all over the globe (though most of them call it "football"). One of the things that makes soccer so popular is that it's very easy to play. Soccer is played with two teams on a big rectangular field with a goal at each end. The point of the game is to move the ball across the field and into your opponent's goal without touching the ball with your hands or arms. Each time you do this, you score a point. Soccer is also a very accessible game for people to play because it requires almost no equipment. Kids only really need a soccer ball and an open field to be able to start a game.

While the basics of soccer are pretty straightforward, there's quite a bit to learn if you want to graduate from playing at your local park with friends to being on a school or professional soccer team. Some of the rules of the game can be quite complex, and there's also vocabulary specific to soccer and how it's played. Understanding common terms used to talk about soccer can be a good first step toward mastering this deceptively simple game.

Advantage Rule: A rule that allows play to continue after a foul if stopping play would benefit the team that committed the foul

Assist: A pass that leads to a goal

Bicycle Kick: When a player kicks the ball backward over their head before falling onto their back

Charging: Bumping into another player's shoulder to throw them off balance

Clean Sheet: A shutout, when a team holds their opponent scoreless

Corner Kick: A kick awarded to the attacking team when the defending team sends the ball out of bounds at their end of the field

Cross: A pass that sends the ball across the field

Direct Free Kick: A free kick from which the kicking player can score a goal

Dribbling: Moving the ball forward using small kicks with both feet

Drop Ball: When the referee puts the ball into play by dropping it onto the ground between the two teams. A drop ball is used to restart play after the game is stopped because of something other than a penalty.

Extra Time: Overtime, an extra period of play to decide the winner of a tied game

Foul: A violation of the rules

Goalkeeper: The person who defends the goal to keep their opponents from scoring. The goalkeeper is the only player who can play the ball with their hands.

Hat Trick: When a player scores three goals in one game

Header: Hitting the ball with the player's head

High Kick: A foul that happens when a player swings their foot above the waist of another player

Holding: A foul that happens when a player uses their hands or arms to obstruct another player's movement

Indirect Free Kick: A free kick from which a goal can't be scored unless another player on the kicker's team touches the ball

Injury Time: Extra time added to the game to make up for time lost when players are injured or substituted

Kickoff: When one player kicks the ball to start each half of the game and to restart play after a goal

Nutmeg: A dribble or pass through an opponent's legs

Offside: A rule limiting the ability of attacking players to receive the ball near the opponent's goal, so that players don't just stand near the goal waiting for a pass

Penalty Area: A rectangular area in front of the goal line, inside of which goalkeepers can use their hands

Penalty Kick: A kick awarded to the attacking team after a defender commits a major foul

Red Card: A penalty call that removes a player from the game and forces their team to play shorthanded for the rest of the game

Referee: The official who enforces the rules during a soccer game

Slide Tackle: An attempt to take the ball from another player by sliding feet first into the ball

Substitution: The act of replacing a player with a different player during a game

Tackle: A move that takes the ball away from another player

Throw-In: How the ball is returned to play after it goes out of bounds on the side of the field

Yellow Card: A warning given to a player for dangerous or unsporting conduct

Volley: Hitting the ball while it's in the air

Wall: A formation of defensive players aiming to block a free kick


Official Soccer Referee Signals

What Is the Offside Rule in Soccer?

The offside rule is the most debated soccer principle (no matter where the game is played), even though what is known as Law 11 isn't terribly difficult to grasp. Here’s what offside is all about:

A player is caught offside if he’s nearer to the opponent's goal than both the ball and the second-last opponent (including the goalkeeper) when his teammate plays the ball to him. In other words, a player can’t receive the ball from a teammate unless there are at least two players either level with him or between him and the goal or unless his teammate plays the ball backwards to him.

It’s not an offense in itself to be offside. A player is only penalized for being offside if he is deemed to be involved in active play. So a player can only be called offside if he is:

  • In the opposition’s half.

  • Interfering with play (that is, he’s part of the attacking move).

  • Interfering with an opponent (that is, he’s preventing the opponent from defending against the attacking move).

  • Gaining any advantage by being in that position.

A player can not be offside from a goal kick, throw in, or corner.






Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Assocciation
P.O. Box 6844 
Lawrence Township, New Jersey 08648

Email: [email protected]