Parents/Guardians should understand that the main objective of our Club is to provide an atmosphere of safe, recreational fun that includes the proper examples for our children. The spirit of the game must always reflect good sportsmanship. Coaches, referees, and parents/guardians have a tremendous responsibility to promote this spirit at games and the cooperation of all participants and spectators is vital.
Game Day and Other Responsibilities
|All spectators will recognize the authority of the referees, coaches, and assistant coaches in maintaining the spirit of the game on the field of play prior to, during, and immediately following a game.|
|Parents/guardians watching on the sideline should sit quietly on the side and not raise their voices in anything but positive encouragement.|
|Foul or abusive language as well as derogatory acts and comments that are directed towards the referee, coaches, players, or any other spectators will not be tolerated.|
|Parents/Guardians/Spectators will not argue or dissent with referee decisions. Furthermore they will not make statements or engage in other actions that could incite others.|
|All non-playing participants to any soccer game shall remain at least five feet back from the touchline and no closer than 10 yards to either goal line.|
|The referee, coach, or any Board Member has the authority to dismiss from the field of play anyone, including spectators, parents, or guardians, who do not adhere to these rules or other reasonable expectations of good behavior.|
The 5 Things Parents Should Say to Their Player
(Bruce Brownlee,USSF "C" License,Atlanta, GA)
A lot of soccer parents with good intentions give a 30 minute lecture, covering all the players supposed deficiencies and giving playing advice, in the car on the way to each match. The kids arrive far off their optimal mental state, and dreading the critique they are likely to hear, whether they want it or not, on the way home. Kids who are messaged in this way tend not to play badly, they just tend to not play, possibly to avoid making mistakes.
The easiest way to detect this problem is just to ask the player if it is a problem. Kids are more than willing to share this grief. The easiest way to correct this problem is to speak to the parents, as a group, about your expectations, and to cover this as a routine problem. Many of the parents will recognize themselves if you can present this problem with humor and illustrate the importance of the kids having fun and arriving in a good state of mind.
For best results, parents should memorize and use the following.
Before the Match
|I Love You|
|I Love You|
After the Match
|I Love You|
|It was great to see you play|
Touchlines Rules for Spectators
Rule No. 1: Keep POSITIVE support, encouragement, cheer leading and general screaming and hollering to a MAXIMUM on the touchlines.
When the players are working hard, they need and deserve everyone's best POSITIVE encouragement and support. They need to know you're there and that their effort is appreciated. Most teams have a tough enough time developing a sense of teamwork and achievement at the same time the players are gaining experience and skill. They DO NOT need to hear YOUR anxiety piled on top of their own when the game is going poorly. If you really want to make things worse, crank your voice up a few notches and shout "Get it outta there!"
Rule No. 2: DO NOT CRITICIZE referees or players of either team for any reason.
If the referees really ARE doing poorly, they may get angry or offended by critical spectators and that may make things tougher for the team. If they are good at what they do, they will ignore you, or perhaps ask you to leave the field. Either situation is at best distracting and at worst reflects poorly on the team's overall sportsmanship.
Publicly criticizing players on your team can really hurt team morale. They will already have an EXCELLENT idea what their weaknesses are from their coaches and team mates. They will not need reminders from their families, friends and other spectators.
The players for the other team are also trying hard and in truth are probably no meaner or nastier than players from your team. Criticism is simply poor sportsmanship and leads to unnecessary bad feelings on and off the field. The unfortunate spectacle of a supposed adult shouting insults at a child on a soccer field is merely disgusting. Soccer is a game, not a war.
Rule No. 3: Don't coach players from the touchlines, or for that matter while THEY are on the touchlines.
In most leagues, coaching from the sidelines is frowned on, and rightly so. Soccer is different from most sports in Canada, because it is a game of the players. Coaches are supposed to intrude as little as possible.
If you feel a child is not doing what should be done, tell the coaches, not the player. As parents occasionally discover, a player may be doing EXACTLY what the coaches have instructed. Either way, a parent can help a player's athletic development much better working together with the coaches, not independently.
Rule No. 4: Give the players, coaches and referees room to work.
Many organizations have rules which require that spectators on the touchlines stay in an area between the penalty boxes, and keep all parts of their bodies (even outstretched feet) at least one yard behind the touchline. Do not crowd the touchlines for any reason and stay away from the goal area to avoid interfering with those involved in the game.
Rule No. 5: Remember, IT'S ONLY A GAME.
Don't forget, YOUR attitude on the touchlines can affect the mood and success of the team. If the coaches think that your touchlines activity is hurting team performance in any way, they should promptly advise you, hopefully without ruffling any of your feathers. Be tolerant. Emotions run high during games, and feelings are easily hurt.
Nevertheless, any spectator, whether parent, friend or player, who persists in inappropriate touchlines behaviour after being warned by the coaches should be asked to leave the vicinity of the field. Coaches should not argue with parents at the game. If YOU want to talk about the game, call the coaches later at home or get them aside after the game.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I hope you won't get mad at me for writing this letter, but you always told me never to keep anything back that ought to be brought out into the open. So here goes...
Remember the other morning when my team was playing and both of you were sitting and watching? Well, I hope that you won't get mad at me, but you kind of embarrassed me. Remember when I went after the ball in front of the goal trying to score, and fell? I could hear you yelling at the defender for getting in my way and tripping me. It wasn't his fault. That is what he is supposed to do.
Then, do you remember yelling at me to get over and cover Johnny's man? Well the coach told me to cover someone else and I wouldn't if I listened to you. While I tried to decide, they scored against us. Then you yelled at me for being in the wrong place.
You shouldn't have jumped all over the coach for pulling me off the field. He is a pretty good coach and a good guy, and he knows what he is doing. Besides, he is just a volunteer, coming down at all hours of the day helping us kids just because he loves sports.
Then, neither of you spoke to me the whole way home. I guess you were pretty sore at me for not scoring a goal. I tried awfully hard, but I guess I am a crummy soccer player.
But, I love the game, it's lots of fun being with the other kids and learning to compete. It is a good sport, but how can I learn if you don't show me a good example? And anyhow, I though I was playing soccer for fun, to have a good time, and to learn good sportsmanship. I didn't know that you were going to get so upset because I couldn't become a star.
Love, Your Soccer Player
Everyone Is Learning!
We ask the parents to understand that everyone is in a learning phase:
Most coaches are parents just like you and have given their time to try and help your children. The coaches are taught by the club's technical director in mandatory clinics and certification programs are also available. The coaches are trying hard to learn and they need your support.
The referees are mostly children from our club who have taken on a huge responsibility. Each referee attends referee school taught by the club's referee-in-chief and must achieve an 85% grade to be a referee. The referees have a very difficult job that can only be truly understood once you have refereed a game. They deserve respect from the players, coaches and the spectators. There will always be controversial calls but please remember, the referees are learning too and we must give them encouragement and our support.
It is most important to realize that the players are learning and we must give them praise whether they do well or make a "mistake". A "mistake" is another way to say "Learning Experience" and we prefer to see it that way and you should too. If you are too hard on your children, it will destroy their enjoyment of the game. Always encourage your children with positive reinforcement.
Yes! You are learning too. You are learning how to positively encourage your children to play the game. You are learning that the coaches and referees are volunteers trying to make your children better people and they really need all the help you can give them.
A Message from the Coaches
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous impact on their experience. With this in mind, we have taken some time to write down some helpful reminders for all of us as we approach the upcoming season. If you should have any questions about these thoughts, please feel free to discuss it with us, the coaches.
|Let the coaches coach: Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes motivating, psyching your child for practice, after game critiquing, setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job. If a player has too many coaches, it is confusing for him and his performance usually declines.|
|Support the program: Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with fundraisers, car-pool; anything to support the program.|
|Be you child's best fan: Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should never have to perform to win your love.|
|Support and root for all players on the team: Foster teamwork. Your child's team mates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.|
|Do not bribe or offer incentives: Your job is not to motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract your child from properly concentrating in practice and game situations.|
|Encourage your child to talk with the coaches: If your child is having difficulties in practice or games, or can't make a practice, etc., encourage them to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility taking" is a big part of becoming a big-time player. By handling the off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects of the game - preparation for as well as playing the game.|
|Understand and display appropriate game behaviour: Remember, your child's self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive, cheer, be appropriate. To perform to the best of his abilities, a player needs to focus on the parts of the game that they can control (his fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, what the game is presenting them). If he starts focusing on what he can not control (the condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the game at times), he will not play up to his ability. If he hears a lot of people telling him what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts his attention away from the task at hand.|
|Monitor your child's stress level at home: Keep an eye on the player to make sure that they are handling stress effectively from the various activities in his life.|
|Monitor eating and sleeping habits: Be sure your child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest.|
|Help your child keep his priorities straight: Help your child maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships and the other things in life beside soccer. Also, if your child has made a commitment to soccer, help him fulfill his obligation to the team.|
|Reality test: If your child has come off the field when his team has lost, but he has played his best, help him to see this as a "win". Remind him that he is to focus on "process" and not "results". His fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Conversely, he should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite inadequate preparation and performance.|
|Keep soccer in its proper perspective: Soccer should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your children long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's experience.|
|Have fun: That is what we will be trying to do! We will try to challenge your child to reach past their "comfort level" and improve themselves as a player, and thus, a person. We will attempt to do this in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We look forward to this process. We hope you do too!|