For more Parent related info,
FAN SUPPORT CAN BE THE GREATEST THING EVER, OR IT CAN BE A
"In light of the recent success of the High School team, I wanted to let
everyone know how awesome is was to look across the field and see the
stands packed and over flow crowd covering our entire half of the side
lines. We are used to seeing crowds of maybe a hundred folks, total fans
for both teams, concession and gate workers included! I know the team
could feel the support and gained energy from the cheers, a definite
The only negative is that the larger the crowd, the better chance of
having a problem. During our post season run, word has gotten back to me
that some of our fans tend to get out of control and way to vocal, in a
negative fashion. While I know that our officiating was not as great as
one would expect for tournament play, and disagreements were in order. I
am not in favor of people taking it any farther that questioning the call
with a moan from the crowd or “come on sir” from our coaches or the team
captains. There is NO place for the crowd to take complaining to an
escalated and super negative, almost threatening level. This can lead to
other problems, others joining in and creating the mob mentality, and just
teaching poor sportsmanship to our young people. While I agree the calls
being protested were questionable at best, the constant badgering of a
referee will never change them into a good referee, no way, no how. In all
my years of playing, coaching and watching sports; I have not seen an
official change the way they call a game, (for the better anyway), because
of the crowd. To the contrary, I see them holding it against our team. We,
as a County, already have a reputation for having undesirable fans. This
is the word from referee friends of mine. Those same friends admitted that
while they won’t “get them back” with calls, but if there is a “close
call” or possible “no call” situation, the heckling could help them make
Going forward we need everything to work in our favor, so to help our
cause and to start a new trend: JUST CHEER! If you struggle in this
department, it would benefit us if you supported us from a far. "
Simple Guidelines for Youth Soccer
In negotiating the
world of youth soccer, it is helpful to the players, the coach and the
parents or guardians to understand what is expected of them. Some simple
guidelines for parents/guardians helps establish the rules. Key to success
is to remember that kids play soccer to have fun and to enjoy themselves.
Keep big rules for big kids and the pros. For the younger players keep it
simple so they can have fun. 1. Understand the coach and team philosophy.
If you don't know the goals of the team (for example, player development
versus competition), ask them to be spelled out at the meeting. 2. Send
your children ready to play. They should be properly fed and clothed, and
they should arrive on time. 3. Support the team, but do not instruct the
players. It confuses your child and others, and undermines the efforts of
the coach. 4. Avoid confusion when cheering. Do not say anything that is a
command, such as "Pass it," "Shoot," or "Boot the ball." 5. Use positive
encouragement instead. This would include such comments as "Way to go,"
"Nice effort," or "Stay with it." 6. Refrain from speaking to officials,
unless it is to say thank you after the game. If you have questions or
concerns with the referees, relay the information to the parent manager,
who will take it to the coach. 7. Speak to the coach at the proper time.
If you have concerns, use the telephone. If it is about a game, let the
dust settle for a couple of days first. 8. Report to the coach all
injuries, special medical conditions (such as asthma) or extenuating
circumstances (such as lack of sleep or family crisis) that may affect the
player. 9. Remember, youth soccer is "the game for all kids!" Support your
child and all the other children on the field....praise success, ignore
failure. The children are learning and having fun. They are pros.
to be a Great Soccer Parent
By Neal Frink
I am both a parent
and a coach. I stopped coaching my older son last year and now just coach
the younger one. Over the past year I've been learning how to be a better
parent/spectator. It ain't easy, but I'm trying. Here are a few of my
thoughts on the topic. Sit away from the field. I have been finding it
easier to enjoy the game when I move my chair further from the field. The
combination of being close to the action and sitting in the middle of
other engaged parents produces an edgy kind of energy that all too
frequently gets the best of me. When possible, I like to find a spot where
I can see more of the field a nearby hill or the top row of stands if they
are available. Getting a little distance provides both literal and
figurative perspective. At distance, it becomes more clear that I am
watching children play. At distance, I am less likely to impose the same
expectations I have when I watch the EPL, Series A, or even the MLS. It's
also easier to more accurately judge whether the AR blew an off-side call
AND easier not to care about it. Cheer, but not too loudly. I recall after
one of my high school soccer games asking my mother not to cheer so loudly
on the sideline. The next home game, I was a little bummed when I did not
see her in the crowd when the game started. After the game I found her and
gave her flack for showing up late to the game. She told me she'd been
there the whole time, but had stayed toward the back of the crowd so as
not to embarrass me. I think that was supposed to make me feel guilty. I
gave her a hug, thanked her, and said I would know where to look for her
at the next game. I think a child's hearing is particularly tuned to hear
his parent's voice, even over the din of the crowd. And yes, kids can find
their own parents to be particularly embarrassing. Don't coach from the
sidelines. Last Sunday I was coaching my younger son's game. One of our
players stripped the ball from an attacker near our end line and played it
through the penalty area where it was intercepted and slammed into the
back of our net. His mom's voice rang from the sideline Daniel, NOT in the
middle. He came straight over to me in tears and said I know coach, I
should have kicked it out of bounds. I told him it was OK, and NO, I'd
rather have him not kick the ball out of bounds, we learn to balance risk
and reward by playing soccer on the whole field. But he continued, coach,
you don't understand, I'm not upset about THAT, I'm mad at my mother. Wow!
A teachable moment for me. When I'm on the parent's sideline I need to be
mindful not to undermine the coach, but more importantly not to undermine
my son. Withhold advice. Ferenc Puskas scored 84 goals in 85 international
games for Hungary. On receiving honors for his soccer career, he is quoted
as saying I want to thank my father for all the advice he never gave me.
And his father knew something about soccer they played on the same
Hungarian team when Ferenc was 16! Sometimes after a game one of my boys
will ask if I will shoot on them in goal. I need to indulge them more
frequently when they make that request. Perhaps, like Ferenc, they'd get
more out of playing a little soccer with their old man than hearing my
advice. Ice cream! When I was a boy a got rides to most of my youth soccer
games with Mr. Reiter, my teammate Eddie's dad. After every game, win or
loss, Mr. Reiter would stop and treat the whole carload to ice cream. The
quality and consistency of Mr. Reiter's kindness and generosity stays with
me long after the memories of any of those games has faded. Now, on the
way to my boys' soccer games we always scout out the UDF where we'll stop
and get ice cream after the game. With a tip-of-the-hat to Mr. Reiter,
it's a legacy I hope they'll each pass on to their kids.
Coach: Parental Interference
Don't Get About Kids and Sports
car rides to games or practice, kids don't want you to tell
them how to do this or that.
not stupid," or "I know how to play the sport I
play," are typical responses.)
can get psyched for a game without parental help.
it when my parent says, 'Are you ready? We're going
to win,' like they're the one playing." )
your duty as a parent to sit quietly and watch your kids do
bummed out when you miss games or yak it up too much
with friends in the stands.)
you don't know what you're talking about, kids don't want
you to talk.
comments: " Parents think they know the rules, but
they don't." "My mom asks annoying questions.'' And
''I hate when my mom tells me to do things even when
she doesn't know the first thing about sports.")
if you do know what you're talking about, kids don't want
you to talk.
when parents tell us to do the exact opposite of
what the coaches say," "If your parent isn't the
coach, he or she shouldn't try to be one.")
wish parents would practice what you preach about
always wants me to he a 'good sport,' but a lot of
the time he blames the loss on the ref." "Arguing
with the refs is not only embarrassing, but it takes
up time." )
often can't hear a parent yelling when they're concentrating
on the game.
(Sometimes, they can. Either way, they don't like
it. "Parents yell advice a player doesn't hear
because they're so into playing the game." I feel
embarrassed when my parents yell so loud that the
whole town can hear," and "They yell and scream and
look like dorks.")
they lose, kids don't want to be told it doesn't matter.
reactions: ""I hate when we get knocked out of the
playoffs and parents say, 'You'll get them next
time!" "When parents try to cheer you up after a
loss, all they do is remind you of the score." )
they lose, kids don't want to be told that it does matter.
take losses harder than we do". You win some, you
lose some, no big deal! "Get over it!")
Kids just want
to have fun.
don't get this" kids say.
Dr. Lance Green
Chairman of the Sports Sciences
Department at Tulane University and Louisiana Soccer Association
State Staff Coach
Imagine the following scenario. As a
player rides home from a game with his parents, the father begins
his critique of the game. He begins by telling his son that; "Your
coach is making a big mistake with the way he’s handling you.
Everyone knows that you’re better than Ralph is and should be one of
the starting forwards. What is he thinking?" What ramifications does
this behavior have for the player? For the coach?
Initially, we must look at the role
that parents have in the soccer experience. Ideally, parents serve
as the primary support system for their child’s involvement. This
means that they look at the experience from the child’s point of
view and offer positive reinforcement for their child’s efforts, no
matter what! It is important to note that the above scenario is
often the result of this very perspective. The parent is attempting
to boost their child’s self-concept of ability as a player.
Unfortunately, the method of accomplishing this worthy task is
inappropriate. It violates a cardinal rule in developing
self-concept, i.e.; it attempts to build the child’s concept of self
by putting others down. This serves as a shaky foundation on which
to build esteem. It refers to external factors (i.e., the dumb
coach) as the source of self-concept rather than focusing attention
on the true source of self-esteem, i.e., the internal feelings and
perceptions of the child concerning his own skill level, place on
the team, or in the world at large.
Of primary concern is the resulting
effect of this approach on the child. Undermining the coach in this
manner forces the child to choose between two of the most
influential adults in his life and creates confusion. Athletically,
the athlete exhibits this confusion on the field. Concentration
becomes divided during the game with the athlete never really
committing to his ‘task at hand.’ He becomes literally frozen in his
tracks and is unable to focus on his duties. Individually, the child
is torn between the love for his parents and the respect for the
coach. Each are integral parts to the development of his
self-concept of ability on the field and as a human being.
In essence, the coach’s position as
‘lead decision-maker’ for the team has been placed in question. In
many cases, he remains unaware that this problem even exists because
the parent chooses to maintain a dialogue with his son, but not with
the coach. So, how should this be handled? What should a parent do
when he or she feels that their child is being treated unfairly? The
parent in two steps should handle this scenario. The first step is
to refrain from undermining the coach with his child. Instead, the
parent should pursue a dialogue based on the effort his son is
putting forth in the role that he has been given. The parent should
be able to identify specific tasks that his son is doing well and
pay compliments to them. These could include passing skills,
communication on the field,
punctuality, etc. By offering positive reinforcement for task
related behaviors, the athlete’s self-concept of ability is
Secondly, the parent has every right
to speak with the coach about the role his son has on the team. This
conversation should take place away from the field, after practice
when no one is around or over the phone if necessary. The approach
should be one of ‘information seeking’ rather than confrontation.
For example, the parent could begin the conversation with questions;
"I’m interested in my son’s role on the team. What do you see as the
reasons for his role as a non-starter? What does he need to improve
in order to move into a starting role?" The coach should be able to
identify specific skills, which are in need of improvement as well
as a description of what others are doing who have earned their
starting position. The parent should also be able to describe his
reasoning for questioning the coach. This reasoning should not be
centered on the ‘fact that everyone knows…’ or on past performances
at younger levels. It should be versed in equally compelling
evidence of superior play. In the final analysis, at least four
possible outcomes exist:
1) The coach agrees to start the player
2) The coach agrees to look for progress and
give the player every chance to work his way into the starting
3) The parent agrees to disagree with the
coach yet maintain a positive approach with his son
4) The parent opts to change teams
It is critical that the "Athletic
Triangle" (composed of coach, athlete and parent) functions in an
atmosphere of open communication. It is equally critical that the
child’s welfare is put above all else. This includes adult
inadequacies in communication, problems at home that are carried
onto the playing field, parental egos, coaching incompetence, and
inferior skill levels on the part of the athlete. The game is for
the kids! Adults are there to organize, supervise, teach, and offer
support for the efforts displayed on the field. In some cases,
parents are left with the task of being supportive of their child in
spite of disagreements with coaches.
The Key to Peak Performance
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous
impact on their experience. With this in mind, we have taken some time to write
down some helpful reminders for all of us as we approach the upcoming season. If
you should have any questions about these thoughts, please feel free to discuss
it with us, the coaches.
- Let the coaches coach: Leave the coaching to the
coaches. This includes motivating, psyching your child for practice, after
game critiquing, setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have
entrusted the care of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to
do their job. If a player has too many coaches, it is confusing for him and
his performance usually declines.
- Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer.
Help out with fundraisers, car-pool; anything to support the program.
- Be you child's best fan: Support your child
unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your
child should never have to perform to win your love.
- Support and root for all players on the team:
Foster teamwork. Your child's teammates are not the enemy. When they
are playing better than your child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity
- Do not bribe or offer incentives: Your job is
not to motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract
your child from properly concentrating in practice and game situations.
- Encourage your child to talk with the coaches: If
your child is having difficulties in practice or games, or can't make a
practice, etc., encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This
"responsibility taking" is a big part of becoming a big-time player. By
handling the off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects
of the game - preparation for as well as playing the game.
- Understand and display appropriate game behavior:
Remember, your child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be
supportive, cheer, be appropriate. To perform to the best of his abilities, a
player needs to focus on the parts of the game that they can control (his
fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is
presenting them). If he starts focusing on what he can not control (the
condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the
outcome of the game at times), he will not play up to his ability. If he hears
a lot of people telling him what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts
his attention away from the task at hand.
- Monitor your child's stress level at home: Keep
an eye on the player to make sure that they are handling stress efeectively
from the various activities in his life.
- Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your
child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest.
- Help your child keep his priorities straight:
Help your child maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships and the other
things in life beside soccer. Also, if your child has made a commitment to
soccer, help him fulfill his obligation to the team.
- Reality test: If your child has come off the
field when his team has lost, but he has played his best, help him to see this
as a "win". Remind him that he is to focus on "process" and not "results". His
fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Conversely, he
should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite inadequate preparation
- Keep soccer in its proper perspective: Soccer
should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces
strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will
continue with your children long after their competitive soccer days
are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's
- Have fun: That is what we will be trying to do!
We will try to challenge your child to reach past their "comfort level"
and improve themselves as a player, and thus, a person. We will attempt to do
this in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We look forward to this
process. We hope you do to!