#1: Cheer – Don’t Coach
Even if you used to play soccer or be a soccer coach, you shouldn’t try to be a soccer coach to your child during the soccer game. A huge part of soccer is for your child to communicate with one another and implement strategies that their coaches give them. The only voice for instructions should be from the team coach.
A parent’s voice cheering for players can help bring excitement and elevate players to perform better. Stick to positive cheering and cheer on the entire team, not just your own player.
#2: Don’t Address Soccer Players on the Opposing Team
Most parents don’t like it when other parents do this to their child, and the rule to treat others how you want to be treated goes along with this tip. Especially young children are still learning how to control their bodies and many fouls or body slams truly might be accidents.
If a player misbehaves it is up to the referee or the player’s coach to address this, not the parents of the opposing team. An unknown adult yelling at a child can be very intimidating and take away the joy of the game.
#3: Do not Criticize the Referee
As a parent and a person, you should realize that the referee is a person and will make mistakes. If parents start to criticize the referee in a soccer game, it makes the soccer game more about the adults than the kids. Children are learning the referee is in charge of the laws of the game and coaches and parents need to lead them by example of being respectful to the authority.
#4: Focus on the Benefits of the Soccer Game Rather than the Score
Playing on a soccer team will give your child a lot of benefits, but parents will oftentimes only worry about the number on the scoreboard. Although it’s natural to want to win and focus on the result of the soccer game, parents need to focus on the larger picture. If your child’s team didn’t win, how can they learn what their team needs to improve on? Soccer coaches talk about the development process with soccer players, and losing is part of that. If your child’s team always wins, their mentality will be less likely to be able to handle setbacks. It’s a big part of a child’s development as a person and as a soccer player.
#5: Learn the Rules
If more parents learned and understood the rules of a soccer game this way you can be more educated when you are watching the game. This will help to not act irrational and think that every call is against your soccer player or their soccer team.
Learning the laws of the game will also help parents explain to players why the referee made a call and help them understand and enjoy the game better.