Soccer games, even kid’s soccer games, can be fairly intense affairs. Everyone involved is deeply invested and passionate about the outcome of the game. Parents often wonder – how involved should I be in my child’s game? What are the boundaries that I should be aware of?
Here are five etiquette tips for parents on game day.
1. Avoid “coaching” from the sidelines
You’ve most certainly got some great insight into what motivates your child, but when it’s game time it’s best to hold your comments. Even if you’ve got a background in the game, it can be very confusing to kids to hear multiple sets of instructions. Allow your child to focus just on what the coach is asking them to do indegenerique.be.
2. Don’t criticise the referee
Soccer isn’t just about learning to kick a ball – it’s about learning good sportsmanship as well. Sometimes refs are going to make the wrong call, and that’s ok. Allow the game to be about the kids and their effort, rather than being about what a ref said or did. Your child’s coach is the best advocate on the field, and it sends the wrong message when parents go after refs.
3. Show positive interactions with opposing fans
Keep the game in perspective, and always interact with opposing fans in a positive way. This is a perfect time to model this behaviour for your kids – that opponents in sport aren’t enemies. If you feel overly competitive, then just stick with your own team’s fans.
4. Save issues for tomorrow
Stay positive on game day, both with your kids and with their coaches. Soccer is a sport that elicits a great deal of passion, and it’s easy to get carried away. Make a commitment to only talk about what you see as mistakes until the day after the game to allow you the chance to process it all, and be sure you’re going about it with a level head.
5. Don’t stress out!
After all, this is only a game. Relax! Enjoy! These are treasured moments that you want to cherish with your children. Whether they win or lose, the game is about the experience. It’s not about the outcome.
What’s your best advice for parents on the sidelines? What works for you on game day? Share it with us – we’d love to hear from you!
Photo credit: MSC U15 Green via Foter.com / CC BY