Soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in America.
With more and more kids playing, it's important that parents do their part to help their kids have a positive experience with youth soccer.
The most important thing for any parent to remember is that they are not just at games and practices as a spectator - they are there as fans and supporters, of EVERY player on their kids team!
But being supportive doesn't mean telling your kid how good he or she was every time they play. It means being a fantastic soccer parent all around! So here are my tips on how YOU can become a GREAT soccer parent!
Remember... You are NOT the coach.
You are not there to tell your child how he or she should play. Your child's coach is either volunteering, or are a paid, professional coach. How would you like it if someone came into your place of work and started screaming at you on how to do your job? Wouldn't be great would it? Yes... You have entrusted this coach with your child's development, if you truly have an issue, wait 24 hours, THEN approach the coach, you may view the situation differently.
Know the Rules of the Game!
You have to know the rules of the game that your child is playing! I have lost count of the amount of times I have been at games and hear 'FOULLLLLL' when it was a perfect tackle, this is usually followed by a thorough berating of the ref who has done nothing wrong 😂. Also, and this is very much a David thing here, learn the correct vernacular! Hearing 'offsides' being shouted by a parent who 1) Does not know the offside rule and 2) the word is OFFSIDE, you cannot be off on both sides, just one, therefore 'offside.' I get so much stick for this on social media, but honestly, it shows you care if you use the correct vernacular! I don't mean that you should learn every single rule, but the general, more common rules, so that you know WHY referees call certain fouls etc then you can educate other parents as well!
Do not talk about other players!
Do not talk about other players! Yes, even players from the other team. It's ok to think that a player is bring rough, or they aren't very good, but keep this to yourself or you just end up looking like a crazy soccer parent!
Be Positive in the car on the way home
Trust me, your player KNOWS if they have had a bad game, the last thing they need is their parent berating them about it, telling them what they could have done better etc. Ask your child a simple question: How do you think you played?
Even if you think your child played poorly. It's ok to say that they could have done better and ask them how THEY feel about their game but don't go into detail or tell him/her what they should do differently next time because it will just make things worse for both of you!!! Trust me - I've seen this happen too many times with parents who are frustrated by a bad performance from one player (usually theirs) so please be positive when talking after games!! Your kids need encouragement not criticism !! If anything talk more positively than usual as an extra boost 🙂
Trust Me: Being A Good Soccer Parent Is Hard But Worth The Effort