You’re probably been asked not to coach from the sidelines. Most soccer clubs have this rule or strongly worded suggestion for parents and the coaches appreciate when you follow it.
I know, it’s hard not to sometimes. You’re there watching the game and if your child would just do what you are thinking, they could score, so why not yell it out?
But that’s why there are coaches. The coaches are the ones who can shout out instructions to your child on the field. They may have given your child an instruction counter to what you suggest, which will just confuse your child.
And when you yell out instructions, it distracts your child from the game.
But it’s not realistic that you’ll just sit there quietly watching. You’re there to cheer on your child, right?
Keeping in mind that the two main reasons kids give up sports are because it’s no longer fun and because it’s too competitive, here are some suggestions for what you can (and even should!) say:
- Way to hustle!
- Nice pass!
- Good try!
- Nice shot!
- Great block!
Focus on what the kids did right, what you can see they tried to do. Leave the instruction to the coaches. Don’t call out criticisms of your (or any other) child in the middle of the game- it’s not going to help anything in that moment. And criticizing another child can make you be the hated parent when that child’s mom or dad is unknowingly right beside you. Remember to cheer good efforts, no matter which player made it.
Relax and let the kids play.
Be the parent, not the coach.
We realize this is easier said than done. We want our kids to do well, we’re hard-wired as parents to want to help our kids. But, try it, just for a game and see the difference. Also realize that yelling at the coach or the refs in the middle of the game isn’t going to accomplish much, either. Unless someone might get hurt, wait until after the game is over to voice your opinion to them.