Who is this really for?

I saw an ad on social media recently that included this language:

“The competitive edge your child is missing…”

“The secret behind taking your child’s soccer game to the next level…”

“See better decision making, improved performance, and more confidence…”

It’s pretty clear this product is designed to appeal to the parent, not the player.

Sure, there could be instances where a young athlete laments their lack of progress or outright asks for this kind of assistance, in which case a parent might feel like they’re just supporting their kid’s interest.

But it would appear from that language that the market for this product is the parent. It’s for the parent who believes the “competitive edge is missing.” It’s for the parent who wants the child’s game raised to the “next level.” It’s for the parent who wants to “see better decision making, improved performance, and more confidence.”

For that particular parent customer, how much agency is their child feeling for his or her own experience? How much additional pressure is being layered on from Mom or Dad? How does it make a young player feel to know that their own parents want to see improved performance in an activity that, no matter how competitive it may be at some levels, is always supposed to be enjoyable at the core?

Before you invest in tutoring, test prep, college counseling, private coaching, or any other product or service purported to help your child, it’s worth asking the question, “Who is this really for?” And if it’s not for them, maybe it’s worth reconsidering the investment.

Even a generous gift doesn’t feel so thoughtful when the giver actually bought it for themselves.