The best and worst of youth sports!
We've all heard the horror stories. You know the one with the parent that wouldn't stop screaming at his/her player on the field. The one who coaches from the sideline, or has nothing good to say about the volunteer coach who is giving up their time so that the kids can play. You know who they are. You're thinking of them right now, aren't you!?
Do. Not. Be. That. Parent.
While we have a formal code of conduct for parents to sign before their child ever steps on the field, we just don't want you to be 'that parent'. It's common sense. We're a small community where everyone knows everyone. Stand up. Speak out. If you see sideline behavior that you feel goes beyond the realm of 'cheering and sportsmanship' please say something...if not for your own sanity, for the kids. If you do not feel comfortable doing it, please let the Director of Coaching know and we will be out at the next game to ensure our guidelines are being adhered to. The last thing we ever want to do is to have a child removed because of a parent. It has happened. Once. We never want to do it again.
Other tips that could help our club develop:
DON'T COACH FROM THE SIDELINE
You might want your child to play forward, but don't know that their coach has asked them to develop their defending this game, and that's why they are back there.
DON'T EVER CRITICIZE THE REFEREE
Firstly, until you've refereed yourself, you'll never know the pressure. It's a tough gig, and often a thankless one. In the younger age groups we use youth referees to do games. It's good for them, and they can be better citizens by learning a new skill. Also, it pays pretty good! That said, they're youth referees...no adult should ever verbalize displeasure with ANY referee, but especially a youth one. Also, they do not need your help with offside. Chances are, you don't know what offside is anyway. No-one does.
DO CHEER FOR BOTH TEAMS
Celebrate good play on both sides. It's okay to cheer for the other team, especially if the other team is 8 years old. As the kids get older perhaps still cheer...just a little quieter.
DON'T DISCUSS HOW WELL THEY PLAYED ON THE RIDE HOME
Be a parent. Ask them if they enjoyed the game. Ask them if they had fun. Ask them what their favorite moment was. Don't ask them why the coach put them in that position for the first half, or why they missed that wide open shot to tie the game. Even the younger players know if they had 'a bad game', and those conversations can take place after everyone has cooled off, and had ice cream!
Have fun. Be cool. It's not that hard!