SOCCER SCHOOL OF LIFE: What children can learn from Croatian soccer team

Over the past few weeks, and especially the last few days, the whole Croatia lives a soccer story. Kids come to Center in jerseys, talk about soccer and Croatian soccer team and once again we notice how much joy and pride sport can bring to the children’s hearts. All screens are less interesting, and kids want to play with the ball and imitate their soccer idols. Therefore, we suggest to parents to take inspiration from great success of our soccer team for their children, even in the future, when this great success will be long behind us.

In the way our soccer players showed their spirit to the whole world, you can send to your children the following messages:

“Play your game”

If your child enjoys watching soccer, encourage him/her to try to play – soccer, football, handball, volleyball and other sports. Physical activity contributes greatly to healthy development, not only on the physical plane. Research shows many of the benefits of physical activity also on thought, social and emotional development of children.

“Act like a player every day”

The World Cup 2018 is full of examples of sportsmanship, in terms of respect, mutual support and nurturing community. Explore and discuss with a child of such moments.

“Fight and never give up”

Point the child to the heart that our soccer players showed in the final game, when they are not weary of the game, even when all seemed lost and they scored another goal. Even in the last minute they were relinquished to their goal as the first minute, though it was clear they would not win. This is something that is recognized worldwide, so it is important to listen your child too.

“No one can tell you that you can not”

The inspirational life stories of our soccer players show that success is possible with work, effort, and willingness, even when others speak the opposite. Explore those stories with your child, such as Luka Modrić’s story on the link: If your child has some limitations or difficulties which make him/her suffer in society and has reduced self-confidence, tell your child that difficulties were happening to today’s Golden Ball winner, Luka Modrić, who was cheered by millions last night.

“What matters is the journey, not just a result”

Although Croatia did not bear the title of a world champion, no one could notice it at the reception that we prepared for them on the arrival to Zagreb. Foreign media have recognized the “heart of fire” of our players during the championship, and now the hearts of their fans are also recognized.

“Be part of the team”

The players praised each other and the coach was praising them, and all of them praised the fans. Nobody was trying to emerge to the forefront. The team spirit was evident during the game, and beyond the football field, which is important to point out to children in a society that strives for individualism and where people are increasingly alienated from each other.

“Feel free to show your emotions”

Our footballers unashamedly showed happiness and pride, as well as sadness and disappointment. They did not hide their tears, muttering and encouraging each other, especially in the important moments. The anger they feel in some moments also came out to the surface, but not in a way that hurt or injured someone, which is unfortunately a rare occurrence today. Encourage your child to recognize the emotions of his soccer idols and to consider in what situations s/he feels like that, what s/he does then, what s/he needs.

“Celebrate the love, not hatred”

Croatian national soccer team, coach, journalists and all those involved in the World Cup, they all celebrated their successes, not someone else’s failures. They did not humiliate opponents. They were modest but proud of their achievements, which is a great lesson for your child. Although many feared the possible fan incidents, they did not occur during the entire championship. This celebration was exactly what it should be; discuss it with your child.

“Live what you are doing”

As our players show  love and passion for playing soccer at any time, it would be nice to see the rest of us love what we do as well. Encourage your child to find a hobby, school or profession that truly fulfills him/her.

“We are all equally valuable”

Regardless of nationality, skin color, and many other features that differentiate people on the superficial level, deep down we are all the same and equal, which is evident when we gather around something that we truly love, and in this case it was a soccer. It has ceased to matter who or from where we are, our national team got support from many countries. Encourage your child to accept enriching differences.

“Mom and Dad are Here for You”

Those soccer players are maybe the greatest role models and heroes for your child at the moment. But trough all your life, the greatest role models and heroes to your children are you as parents. Pictures of soccer players with their kids on the field show that children enrich our lives as we adults enrich their lives. No matter how powerful all these messages of  soccer players were, their growth in children’s hearts mostly depends on how much you will live and cherish those messages.


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