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Social Implications of Success

By Joe Ulm

I had an interesting conversation with a friend over lunch this week. It went something like this:

Friend: “When my daughter knows she’s one of the best in her group at a game, task, sport, etc. she shines. She acts with confidence, doesn’t worry about making mistakes, and just has fun. But when she perceives others in the group are better than her, she acts small – worrying about mistakes, what other people in the group will think of her, etc. If she just did her thing and didn’t worry about mistakes or what others with think of her, then she would get better quickly – and maybe even be one of the best in the group in time.”

Me: “Is the group judgmental? Does she get teased or picked on if she makes a mistake?”

Friend: “No, not at all. It’s a great group of girls – supportive, encouraging – all that. I think she just worries about what they’ll think, mostly.”

The conversation got me thinking about how this applies to our players. As parents, we know how powerful friends and social influences can be on our kids – after all, we were kids once, too. The difference here is that we have the opportunity to use what we learned to create an environment where social pressure means players are encouraged to work hard to achieve their goals, and where failure is both expected and supported. Because failure is how we learn and grow; it’s how we become successful.

Creating this type of environment isn’t easy. It will take more than club leaders and coaches – it’ll take all of us encouraging and supporting our kids. At home. On the field. Together. United.


street soccer

In our Street Soccer program, players have the opportunity to create their own teams, make their own calls, and unconsciously develop their technical and tactical awareness–all while expressing themselves with the ball at their feet. We believe players should be able to manage themselves and have the freedom to play, interact, problem-solve, innovate, and take ownership of their participation in the game. Teams are created the day of to promote diversity, and games are played without referees to reinforce positive conflict resolution techniques. Our I-Mentor coaches will supervise each field making sure that players and facilities are safe while maintaining a fun and challenging environment.

PSU’s Street Soccer is open to all 9U to 13U full season players. Our Old School Street Soccer is open to any parent, soccer coach, and their significant others. Bring the whole family!

Adult and youth sign up required for waiver completion. But then just lace up and show up!


Fridays: May 7-June 4, June 18-July 23 (no open play July 2)
Time: 5:30-7:00 pm
Location: Pewaukee Sports Complex