Every sport has its own rules and regulations to try to make the sport as enjoyable to watch and play as possible. One of the main differences between soccer an the other main sports is that there are no time-outs and the game is continuosly flowing.
You have all heard all the rules how to act on the sidelines, about being positive, supporting the team, not yelling at the referees and other guidelines that are required in every sport. But when it comes to soccer…
What Exactly Does This Mean?
- We all hear parents..and coaches.. say: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Next time you hear yourself or somebody else say that, step back for a minute and see if your actions TRULY back this up. For example….
- Remember, we all like to win. But keep it all in perspective. Let your child play. As well-meaning as you may think you are, just let the coach, the ref and especailly the players have fun!
- To help make life easier for your coach, the players, and yourself, give support to your child and the team, but do not give orders or direction to the players, even your own. It is up to the coach and the players to make the decisions. Your direction may be different than what the coach wants and this does not help the team and may frustrate your child.
- Do not publicly question the referee’s calls. Try to enjoy watching your son or daughter play. Do not try to alter the game from the sideline by yelling at the referees. The referees really are not biased against your team and they can make mistakes also… just like the rest of us.
- Help your child work toward skill improvement during practices and during the week and have your child work toward hard work, good sportsmanship and fun during the game. The sport will teach your child.
- Teach your child always to play by the rules. Cheating breeds more cheating.
- Do not ridicule or yell at your child for making a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes and players will learn by those mistakes. What may seem innocent may not. For example….
- Never blame a child for losing a game. There are 11 players on the team. No player can lose the game all by himself.
- Smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages are prohibited at ALL practices, games and other AYSO-sponsored events.
- Bring a chair, sit back and relax and have fun!
By the time a coach or parent has yelled out a command, the entire situation on the field play has changed and usually the instructions are then meaningless. This gives the players a lot of responsibilty on the field to make their own decisions.
The joy of this non-stop play is that the game is taken out of the hands of the coaches and the parents and is preserved for the players. Whereas, in other sports, there is time for instructions from the coach or parents, there is little time in soccer for a player to listen to the sidelines and then react.
This gives the player the ability to learn and to make his or her own decisions-important life tools.
Also, see the Kids Zone section.