The alarm clock rings, its Sunday morning and its time for soccer. You get up with enthusiasm and excitement as today your child is a soccer superstar. As you prepare for the game, you realise your child doesn’t share the same enthusiasm. Your child looks tired and stressed. You question yourself and wonder what could be wrong? Since the game starts in an hour you quickly organise everything for the game, forgetting to question your child for an explanation.
As a Soccer parent there are certain rules and a code of conduct that is spoken about, but never written. Is your child’s lack of enthusiasm caused by you, the parent. Are you in breach of the “soccer parents code of conduct?” As you scratch your head, I’ll briefly outline the code that has never been printed.
Soccer Parents Code Of Conduct
- First and foremost, make soccer participation for your child and others a positive experience.
- Remember that a child is easily affected by outside influences.
- Applaud good plays by your team and by members of the opposing team.
- Accept the results of each game and encourage your child to be gracious in victory and turn defeat into victory by concentrating on improvements.
- Allow the coach to coach, the referee to officiate and most importantly allow your child to play the game.
- Parents should never coach from the side during matches or at training. When you hand over your child to the coach, the coach is in charge. Whether you agree or disagree, the coach is the boss for the remainder of the session.
- Parents should never criticise their child or any other child. Let the coaches do their work, if you add your suggestions it may cause confusion and erode the players confidence.
- Be your child’s best fan and support him unconditionally. Don’t treat him differently when he performs below his standard. On the same token, keep a level head when he has an outstanding game.
- Do not criticise the coach to your child or any other parents. If you are not happy with the coach, you should raise the issue with the coach. If the issue is not resolved, there are plenty of other clubs and coaches.
- When travelling in the car to and from the game, always be supportive and focus on the positives as opposed to the negatives.
- Respect the club and the facilities even when your travelling to the opponents ground.
- Develop and teach responsibilities to your child. Give your son the responsibility to pack his own uniform, clean his own boots and bring his own water bottle.
- Encourage your child to speak with the coach. Let him claim ownership and responsibility of all aspects of the game.
- Help your child focus on performance rather than the result.
- Support all the players in the team, do not criticise any player.
- Never criticise the opponents, their parents, coaches or the referee.
- Establish the right priorities for your child, focus on schoolwork, relationships and other aspects of life as well.
- Do not question the referee or their judgement. They are a symbol of fair play, integrity and sportsmanship.
- Most Important: Monitor your child. Keep an eye on him to make sure that they are handling the stress and that they are happy. Not just in soccer, but in life in general.
So ask yourself, are you in breach of the “soccer parents code of conduct?” If you are, there is a good chance your child lacks the enthusiasm he once had for the game.