Today, we’re talking soccer sideline behavior… WARNING: some of you will love this and some of you will get your feelings hurt, but it needs to be said. The good news is you’re on my website to learn, which means you are making the right steps. I think the main thing parents need to know is let the coach – coach. Meaning stop telling your child what to do in the games. This is the coaches job and it’s confusing to the kids when parents are telling them what to do, especially when they have the ball. It’s okay to say things like “good hustle” or “nice try” , but be careful controlling every move.
It’s youth soccer!
If you’re the dad on the sidelines always yelling at the ref, the players and the coach please STOP.
It’s youth soccer and I don’t care if your kid is in the #1 club player OR in a rec league – there’s no room for loudmouth nonsense.
First of all, you’re probably embarrassing your kid. They’re working hard and whether they play well or not or are the ‘best’ or not – none of what they do is enhanced by your sideline aggression. Rather, the opposite is true.
Second, it doesn’t look good to be that guy always yelling. Plus it’s not good for your blood pressure or relationships. You set parents, players & referees on edge & on alert for your presence. Many of these people are volunteers or doing it for the love, not the money.
Third, if you watched any former soccer players-turned-parents [e.g., those who played the game at any competitive level], you won’t see them acting like this.
Soccer is very passionate and I understand that emotions are high, but try to chill and be more encouraging and focus on learning the game.
For those of you who want to know what and what not to say during the games – read this.
Soccer sideline behavior for parents
Remember, there’s only 1 coach…
Players & coaches don’t need parents on the sideline always yelling “SHOOT” or “PASS”.
There are too many right things to do with the ball for parents to try and control the players like a video game.
Soccer is harder than you think, so let’s not joy stick the kids.
If you have ever played soccer, then you know that especially in the middle 3rd of the field there are so many choices on what to do with the ball.
Also, when the ball is in front of the net every kid knows to SHOOT the ball, so there is no need to yell it.
There are times when players need to take an extra step or touch before getting the shot off. Though parents are often right in the timing for the player to shoot, it’s just something that doesn’t need to be yelled.
Try playing soccer in the middle of the Summer and have people yelling at you what to do with the ball every play.
It’s not easy sometimes and there are games we all play really poorly, but we learn from it, accept it and move on to another day.
Post-game advice in the car is just let the kiddo relax, reflect and open up their thoughts.
Tell them “good job” or “nice try” or, if they didn’t work as hard as they have before, tell them they need to do better at that but be patient with their performance skill-wise.
10 phrases parents should use after every game
Terms you can use instead of “Kick it”, “Boot it” or “Shoot!” [Btw – try not to ever say ‘boot it’ :-)]
- Stay focused
- Good effort
- Great teamwork
- Keep working hard
- Keep your shape
- See the field – learn what scanning is
- Get wide or look wide
- Stay tight on defense or stay together [This means don’t necessarily mark them; just see them]
- Keep the ball
- Be strong [this could mean mentally or physically]
Notice these are mostly things you would say when the player doesn’t have the ball. Use these and you’ll increase your soccer sideline behavior.
Learn proper soccer vocabulary [terms and phrases every soccer parent should know]
Volunteer soccer coaches
As a soccer parent myself, I have seen my share of volunteer coaching for different sports…
About 1/3 of the coaches I’ve seen in youth sports are crAzy… Over the top – yelling at the kids and shaming them for mistakes.
As a coach it’s important to remember that your goal should be to make the sport enjoyable for the kids.
If the players want to come back and play the following season you were successful as a coach.
Teaching proper skill, mechanics, sportsmanship and building kids up is the player development we want for kids.
“Be a light… Encourage – don’t discourage.”
Words are powerful
It’s amazing how powerful our words are and the impact they can have on the field & after the game on our relationships.
Don’t ruin it by being careless with what you say.
Last, Even with the refs – yes they can be frustrating and there may be times when you need to voice your opinion but NOT every game.
Referees make mistakes too, just like you do & I do and players do – none of us are immune. Just keep that in mind the next time they blow a call.
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