Helping Our Children Navigate Setbacks

I overslept this morning.  The report due to my boss today is missing. My flight home got cancelled.  I didn’t hit my quota this month. The promotion at work went to the other person.  The dishwasher leaked water all over the kitchen.  I wrecked the car last night.  My company announced they are downsizing.

We all suffer setbacks in life.  Some small and easy to manage.  Some large and more life changing. Our children are not immune to setbacks either.

  • Missing the bus
  • Not getting a good score on the math test
  • Not getting invited to THE party
  • Failing the driver’s test

And if they play in a sport, they will likely suffer setbacks there as well…

  • Not having a good practice, or not being able to perform a desired move
  • Missing the game winning shot
  • Losing the big game/race, or not even being in the big game/race
  • Not making the desired team, or not making a team at all

This last one is timely, given many have just left the Tryout/Team Formation portion of the club calendar and our older players are just beginning HS preseason and will be coming up on tryouts for those teams.

So, how do we help them navigate and persevere through the ups-and-downs of soccer.  Note the action is NAVIGATE, not AVOID.  Like us, our children are going to suffer setbacks in their journey, whether we are ready for it or not.  Here are five key actions that may assist you in being ready to successfully manage a setback.

  1. STAY CALM-regardless of the situation, be composed, and do not overreact, and remember it is about them not you. Distressed facial expressions, tone of voice and language can make things worse for our child.
  2. LISTEN AND EMPHASIZE– allow your child to tell their story. Let them share thoughts and feelings and acknowledge them. Do not diminish their feelings or concerns with “It’s no big deal.” “Don’t worry about it” or other attempts to make them feel better.
  3. ENCOURAGE THEM– remind them that this setback does not define them. Who they are is more than this one setback. Congratulate them on their efforts and their willingness to risk failing.
  4. FIND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES– when they are ready, talk with them about what they can learn from this. Encourage them to focus on themselves and discourage BLAMING others (coach, teammates, weather, etc.) for the setback.
      • Focus on process (skills, effort, attitude, etc.) not outcomes (goals, wins, etc.)
      • Focus on mental and emotional approaches to setbacks.
      • How can they reset themselves to allow for success?
      • What future efforts would they like to make?
  1. SUGGEST SOMETHING FUN TO DO– it may be beneficial to engage in a fun activity “Do you want to get some ice cream?”, “I think your favorite movie is playing now”, “Let’s go get some lunch!” in order to provide an outlet for your child to remove themselves from the negative feelings they are having.

Another aspect of Setbacks/Failures which is often forgotten when athlete faces a SETBACK, is the path to success or growth. It is easy to assume that an athlete who initially has success will always continue along a straight, and upward path. However, the actual path most athletes follow is far less simple. Often it is more like a roller coaster.  Failure is a key component of learning, problem-solving, and eventual success.  In addition, variances in growth (physical, emotional, social, and cognitive) among athletes is also occurring and is going to result in variable development patterns.  These variances may also be a part of current or future setbacks, i.e., no longer the strongest, the fastest, the fittest, etc.  This graphic from Beastmode Soccer is an excellent depiction of the Expected vs Realistic trajectory of success.

Finally, here are two of my favorite quotes regarding setbacks come from noted athletes:

  • “Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm
  • “You will miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky

Hopefully following the 5 steps provided above will assist you to continue in supporting your child’s efforts and goals and provide them and yourself the opportunity to relax as you move through the ups and downs of their development.

Best of Luck!


Here are several articles or videos which address how to help our children deal with setbacks.

Other motivational quotes can be found at: Sports Feel Good Stories-Quotes to Motivate and Inspire

Our goal is to continue to develop all of our players and their respective teams with an improved player development model and pathway during the new Fall 2022 – Spring 23 season after the tryouts.

Your player’s coach both as a volunteer and paid licensed and certified coach is part of our team and will continue to be part of our soccer club and community. The new partnership is aware that our responsibility as a youth club is to provide more support and resources to each coach so that our players and parents experience is even better.

We plan to have most of our current coaching team to continue to lead their assigned teams for the upcoming season unless there is a conflict with their schedule and/or another opportunity they prefer to pursue in the club which we may consider and appoint a new coach as a result.

Uniforms are set to change for the Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 season and we plan to keep the new and upcoming kits for 2-year period as that is the cycle suggested by the manufacturers.

Our new uniform/player kit brand will be Nike.

Pricing will be very comparable to our current brand of uniforms/player kits as we plan to add more value to the assortment of products that our players currently receive.

No. We will be using Soccer Village as our vendor for our families to order their new season uniforms/player kits.

Soccer Village will provide sample sizes during tryouts for the new uniforms/player kits so that you can order the correct sizing for your player.

Click here to view the Soccer Village website.

Fees will be an all-inclusive model that will cover all expenses (except uniform and personal travel).

No separate club fees and team dues.

Families will have an improved payment plan option of 8 installments with an initial deposit.

Financial Aid and Scholarships will still be available to our families. More information will be added to the website once tryouts have concluded.

Teams will continue to train at the same locations. A big part of this partnership is to work with the city and other independent locations to improve and invest in facilities to create a better training and playing environment.

Kings Hammer is one of the most recognizable privately held clubs in the Midwest.

Founded in 1993 in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.

2 US Youth National titles, 2 runners-up, 4 US Youth Region 2 Champs, 42 OH State Cups, 25 KY State Cups.

In 2020, they added a U23 team in the Ohio Valley Premier League, winning the league’s inaugural season in the Fall of 2020.

In 2021, they joined USL League Two, the pre-professional division of the USL in the US and adding a USL-W team for the 2022 season.

Kings Hammer is backed by Corporex, a privately held investment company with broad holdings throughout the United States. CPX creates investment opportunities for their capital partners through traditional real estate assets as well as an ever-broadening array of other opportunistic investments including Commonwealth Hotels, Kings Hammer Soccer LLC, Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club and Five Seasons Family Sports Clubs. Their ability to create exceptional value through these investments is rooted in their 56-year history as a BUILDER. Why Kings Hammer?

A Complete Pathway to support an all-inclusive player development

Grassroots-Premier-Academy-Professional Development

  • Pathway will start with grassroots and premier program for the 2022/23 season
  • All-inclusive pay structure with flexible and affordable payment plans that covers all costs. 

No additional team fees (uniform/player kits & personal travel are not included)

  • Additional showcases and ID platforms through KH events & network
  • Unique travel and network opportunities through KH and its partners
  • Increased scholarship support through club and local foundation
  • Affordable uniform costs with better assortment through Nike and SV partnership
  • Play Metrics operations & comm. Platform connects the entire club
  • Techne training app – Supporting self-improvement at home
  • Sports Recruits (College recruitment platform and support)
  • College recruitment seminar
  • Player/Parent Education through KH Education Division
  • Kings Hammer Speaker Series – Platform created to present relevant youth soccer information. National and International guest speakers
  • Use of camera & technology for further development opportunities
  • Kings Hammer Goalkeeper Union for specialized training

Our goal is to make Kings Hammer Murfreesboro SC one of the most successful regional youth soccer clubs that focuses on player development with the proper core values. We plan to recruit and retain all coaches that will enable us to achieve our player development pathway for our players in the long run.

Kings Hammer Murfreesboro will continue to offer all levels of appropriate aged training for all level players. Click here to see our new and improved player development pathway.

Kings Hammer Murfreesboro will continue to offer programs all year round.

Full details of all programming will be released in May 2022.

Yes, the logo and the name will change to represent the new King Hammer Murfreesboro.

We will be combining local, regional, and possibly national sponsorships to generate the resources and scale up the opportunities for our Murfreesboro area players and teams. The benefit of our partnerships has impacted our families far beyond just sponsorships.


Technically, No. The Board of Director of MSC have agreed unanimously to sign a 6-year Partnership Agreement to outsource the management of the club to Kings Hammer to elevate the services we are currently and increase the opportunities to have a bigger economic impact to our community with this partnership.

Kings Hammer provides professional player development, great customer service, and offers an inclusive approach to youth soccer.  Kings Hammer Murfreesboro SC will elevate the scale of a community club with access to the highest-level opportunities for players to reach their fullest potential. Throughout the tiered system of development, players and coaches will be able to develop in the appropriate tiered programming, network and expertise provided by Kings Hammer Soccer Club.

Our Recreational Program, which will be branded as our Grassroots Program will continue to play their games at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex under the umbrella of Kings Hammer Murfreesboro SC with more support and resources for both players, parents and volunteer coaches of the program.

Our Academy and Select Program, which will be branded as our Premier Program will continue to train and play their games at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex as well as other locations they currently travel as part of their JDL and TSL games schedule versus other TSSA member organizations and youth soccer clubs.

Our future Premier Program teams will also continue to travel and attend tournaments within the state of TN and possibly other states based on their specific development need and skill level as a team.

No. However Kings Hammer Murfreesboro SC will have an improved structured player development model and a pathway that can support each individual player to play at different levels and assist players achieve their specific goals.

No. Kings Hammer have strong program representation in both States and their players play in their respective locations. The newly formed King Hammer Murfreesboro SC player will continue to play their JDL and TSL games in our area against other TSSA member organizations as scheduled by our state.

Premier Program teams may eventually travel to tournaments in Kentucky and Ohio as a result our partnership with Kings Hammer and vice versa.

As the club grows, we may potentially combine top players from each location to create regional development teams to compete at higher caliber events, showcases to create additional opportunities our players. 

That is our overarching goal and plan. However, it will take some time until we can have teams that can compete in higher level platforms. As Kings Hammer Murfreesboro, we’ve already started working towards a strategic development plan to prepare our club to be part of these leagues and compete at the highest level possible in a short amount of time.