What is a “Seatbelt Saturday Program”? It’s an effort to create a better game environment, to enhance player development and game enjoyment. The goals of the program are simple. During the run of play, we hope:
- To discourage coaches from shouting tactical instructions or criticisms to the players on the field
- To encourage coaches to use the opportunity to coach and instruct the substitutes who are seated next to them on the bench
- To encourage parents and spectators to limit their comments to positive statements of player and team support
- To help create a more enjoyable game environment for everyone
- To help players take control of their game
- To enhance player communication
What can you do? Coaches should remain seated on the bench (or your folding chair) during the first and second halves. It’s OK to be up and about during pre-game warm ups, half-time and when the game ends. At all other times please take a seat on the bench. Try to avoid shouting. Keep the tone and volume restrained. Keep instructions to your on-field players to a minimum. Use your time on the bench to instruct your substitutes. Have them carry messages to the on-field players when they enter the game.
Parents are a big part of this program and their support is needed to ensure its success. They should remain seated during the first and second halves, avoid negative comments and provide positive support.
Referees, hopefully, will have a better and more enjoyable game environment. Remember, however, that this is a voluntary program and a team that chooses not to participate should not be penalized.
We hope that you enjoy the experience. Let us know how it goes. Send comments (including player reviews) and pictures of your seated, relaxed and positive coaches to [email protected]