Fun is the Ultimate Goal
Encourage children to develop technical skills and give l00% at practice and games. Winning is not their motivation. They want to have fun! So, decrease the competitive pressures, and encourage skills, teamwork, self-esteem, and good sportsmanship. Enjoy this opportunity to be with your child on the field.
Learn the Game and Its Laws
Soccer looks simple, but it is complex to play, coach, and officiate. You’ll enjoy the game more by understanding technical soccer skills and tactics, the flow of play, and how the game is played. It is important to learn and follow the basic laws of the game as established by FIFA, the international governing body of the sport.
Support the Entire Team
Give encouragement to the entire team and avoid the temptation to yell at your child while he/she is playing the game. Let the coaches ‘coach’ and the players ‘play’. After all, soccer is a player-dominated game and they have to make the decisions on the field. Always be positive, win or lose and be sure to applaud good play by either team.
Always show your sportsmanship and enthusiasm. Young people learn by example. Encourage your player to play by the rules. Ask your child after the match: “Did you have fun and try your best?” rather than “Why didn’t you win?” Win gracefully, not boastfully. Lose without being negative. Make sure the end-of-the-game rituals (like the handshakes) reflect good sportsmanship.
Let the Coaches Coach
Your coach, volunteer or paid, provides guidance, skill instruction, and supervised fun for your children in the sport of soccer. Respect the coaches and their decisions. Their concern is the whole team, not just your child. Don’t undermine, second-guess, or criticize a coach in public. Most coaches will listen to parents in a private setting – so seek them out via telephone or e-mail to set up a time to chat. Respect their need to process the outcome of a match by giving them a 24-hour period to respond to calls or email inquiries.
And Let the Referees Referee
Soccer referees control the game the moment they enter the grounds. They respect fair play, sportsmanship, skill, and the spirit of the game. Referee calls are final. No player, coach, or parent has ever changed a referee’s decision, but the criticism disrupts the game. Support the referees.
Be Involved in the Sport
Come to the games in the spirit of fun and play. Meet other parents and coaches. Soccer isn’t easy to play, so don’t criticize your child or other children for losing or making mistakes—applaud good effort.
Be a Supportive Soccer Parent
Volunteer to help with practices or transportation. Soccer teaches discipline and responsibility, so be on time! Support the coach and players in every way possible. Be more concerned with your player’s long-term development than with short-term winning and losing. Focus on skill accomplishments and effort.
Remember It’s Only a Game
Allow your child to be a child. Kids see soccer as fun: learning new skills, emulating heroes, being on a team, gaining success by touching the ball, and just being involved. Soccer can teach skills for life: building character, self-esteem, and awareness of others. There’s no such thing as a loss if players do their best. You’ll see wonderful progress if fun and skill development are your priorities.