It’s hard to tell you guys, the parents, how to interact with your children. After all their your children, right?
The methods most parents use to control their children are laughable, especially around the perimeters of a soccer field. Do you honestly believe screaming and yelling does not have a negative effect on your children?
Parents that are verbally aggressive will coach and direct their children during a soccer match. Some even try and control the whole ninety minutes of the game without taking a breath.
I’ve seen a lot of things during my time in soccer and there’s very little that phases me. But have you watched kids soccer lately? It just happened that I did today and I had to arch an eyebrow.
What a disgrace!
So what’s the definition of verbally aggressive?
Are you verbally aggressive?
Someone who is verbally aggressive is likely to insult others as a way to motivate them to comply or behave. Does that sound like you?
The aggressive behaviour does not necessarily have to involve hitting or yelling but the simplest of instructions during a game can have a significant negative impact.
Next time you’re watching kids soccer take note of all the aggressive mothers. Look at the way they direct their children and control the game.
Have any of these mothers had coaching experience? Have any of these mothers played the game?
Don’t get me wrong here, at times we all say things we regret. But Soccer is not a tool for abuse. Screaming and instructing only serves to attack your child’s self-confidence and esteem. The kids are playing soccer because it’s fun. Let them have fun.
Game time is not about you!
Have you ever noticed where you stand or sit while watching kids soccer?
Let me guess.
As close as possible to the chalked lines.
Close enough to yell instructions and to make your presence felt. Close enough that your child will hear every disappointed remark you make.
The icing on the cake and the reason for this rant comes from what I saw today. A young kid, possibly 6 years old comes running out onto the ground with truckloads of enthusiasm. He seems happy and loves chasing after the ball. He seems to be friends with everyone and has the confidence to talk to the other team. One would only assume that he doesn’t really know his opponents so this is a good sign.
The young kid seems to have good technique and seems to be running around with a smile. Fantastic, right?
But what happens next?
What I just described to you was the warm up prior to the game. What happened next was the kick off and a change in atmosphere that would even startle a full time professional.
The same child that I described to you stopped running and stopped smiling. Every second of the game he continually looked to his parents to be advised. The ball would bounce a meter away from him and he wouldn’t chase it unless the parents instructed him to do so.
Are you serious?
What’s the objective of soccer?
Is it to chase the ball and to maintain possession while trying to score more goals than your opponent? Or is it to follow instructions from your parents?
If the parents always have to control the game it makes you wonder what the child is thinking. You wonder if this communicates to the child that what they want doesn’t really matter.
Let your kids play soccer for God’s sake.
Step back and watch from a distance.
Here’s a thought, next time you’re at a game cheer and let them know how proud you are of their efforts.
Enough said, don’t you think?