With warmer weather and spring season competition midway through: let us remember why we are passionate about soccer. Our club prioritizes & prizes the fun of the game above all else. We ask all parents and coaches to join this effort to make every game a positive experience for every player.
Ten simple steps to “keeping it fun”:
1. The sound heard most at games should be the sound of children playing.
2. Parents should remind themselves that what their soccer-playing children need from them is unconditional support and encouragement, not advice and critiques. Please leave the coaching to the coach; think of the coach as your child’s teacher in this activity. It is the coach’s responsibility to focus on specifics and the parents’ responsibility to praise their child’s effort.
3. Parents should refrain from shouting instructions during games and instruction from coaches should be minimal. Children need the freedom to think for themselves if they are to learn and grow as soccer players. It is easy to get emotional in a game, but remember it is confusing to a child to have many adults yelling different things to them.
4. Focus on encouragement. Making mistakes is part of learning. Recognize what your child is trying to do, not the result. Scolding and admonishing players for mistakes and/or errors in judgment will dampen a player’s enthusiasm for the game. Please keep your comments to cheers and positive remarks regardless of the game outcome.
5. Don’t be critical of your child’s teammates. If your child hears you being critical, it will make him/her more critical of other teammates.
6. Parents and coaches should never address concerns about how the game is being played to players or parents from opposing teams. Concerns or questions about the opponent should be handled between coaches.
7. Coaches may only speak to the referees in order to substitute, to point out an injury/ emergency, or to respond to the referee if addressed. If you berate an official, others (like your children) will wrongly learn to do so as well. Parents should never address the referee except in a positive way. Referees are tasked first with player safety and second with interpreting & enforcing Laws of the Game. They have a unique vantage point but they are human and will make mistakes. The forum for addressing referee errors is not the field of play – coaches may file reports after the game. Please visit the BAYS site for specifics of the BAYS Zero-Tolerance policy, which applies to all ASC Intown and Grade 3-12 League games.
8. Coaches and parents should stay in one area. Please do not roam up and down the sidelines. Find a spot to watch your team and project calmness. Find time and space to be quiet, watch the game and listen to the players.
9. All spectators should watch from the sidelines, not from the end lines behind the goals (except at pre-K to Gr.1 clinics where parents are asked to ring the field to keep the ball in play). No coach or parent should stand alongside the goalkeepers.
10. All players and coaches should line up and shake hands at the end of the game. Then coaches and teams should go together to shake hands with the referee.
Be your child’s #1 fan before, during, and after the game!
Never should the outcome of a game matter more to us than the well-being of the children playing it. Let children play the game as they see it, let them take chances and fearlessly make mistakes, and the game will become their best teacher.