Although some parents may disagree, soccer is not a babysitting service. Supporting your child means a whole lot more than simply signing up and dropping your kid off for soccer. If your other responsibilities preclude you from participating in the team or club, it is your responsibility to become an active, All Star parent.
Born an overachiever?
Then here are Eleven Sure Fire tips that will elevate your All Star status into your rightful place in the Soccer Parent’s Hall of Fame:
1. Pay your fees and expenses on time every time. The coach has enough to worry about and shouldn’t have to front your fees or chase you around for money.
2. Be on time, every time. Yes, we’re all busy but disrespecting the team’s time is a cardinal sin. Picking up your child fifteen minutes late means that the coach has to sit and wait after already coming early and conducting the session. Not fair.
3. Support your child. Let the coaches instruct your child – even if you may disagree in the moment. If something goes wrong, don’t blame the coach, the school or other players or parents. They may make a mistake, or your child may be involved in a problem, but it really does help to have friendly and supportive parents. Listen, don’t blame.
4. Support the coaches. Always be helpful and supportive of the coaches because they will need your help. If you disagree with the coaches, make time to coach next season. Support them this season. And, don’t be one of the gossipers on the sidelines. This is cause for automatic expulsion from consideration to the Soccer HOF.
5. Be a great sport by supporting and cheering for both teams. Sometimes parents can’t make it, so learn every player’s name on your team and cheer for them. Since this isn’t the World Cup, you can also cheer for the other team when their players do amazing things. In soccer, we call this “good form.” A great lesson taught by showing instead of telling.
6. You are not the coach. Remember the mantra: Players, play; coaches, coach; referees, ref; and parents, cheer. If you want to be coach, sign up next year, but this season, please be kind and respectful from the sidelines. PS – Cheering does not include yelling instructions from the sidelines. Cheering includes, “Good job” “Nice pass” and “Good hustle.” Advanced soccer cheering includes “Great vision” “That’s an excellently flighted ball” and “Wow, what a perfectly weighted pass!”
7. Learn about the game. Flip on ESPN or FoxSports and catch a game. An educated fan will get much more enjoyment out of the game. Besides, you’ll sound like you actually know what you’re doing instead of moronically yelling the following phrases repeatedly, “Kick it!” and “Run!” Love the energy, but we just need to channel it in the right way.
8. Be available – just be around when your child needs support, preferably with a vehicle for transporting other team members around whose parents won’t be making the Hall of Fame.
9. Make sure your child has the right equipment. You wouldn’t send your son or daughter to baseball or softball practice without a glove. Make sure your child has a ball.
10. Go outside and practice with your child in a fun, low-pressure environment. Remember, you bought the ball for a reason. Too tired? There’s no better antidote for tired than the glow on your child’s face when they finally “get it” and pull off the move they’ve been practicing.
11. Win, Lose or Draw, there are only two things that need to be said after a match: “I’m proud of you” and “Did you have fun today?” All the rest of it doesn’t matter.