How to Enjoy Your Child's Soccer Experience

Poor parental behavior is an ongoing concern in youth sports. Please read the following reminders. This simple list of "dos and don’ts" should help you, and your child, get the most out of their soccer experience.

Please make certain to DO the following:

  1. Make certain that your child arrives on time for practices and games as set by their coach. Late arrivals affect both the individual’s and their team’s ability to properly warm-up and be prepared to play at the scheduled time.
  2. Be sure that your child is dressed and equipped properly. All players should wear their full uniform for games and shinguards must be worn under their socks during all soccer-related activity.
  3. Learn the basic rules and terminology of the game so that you will have some understanding and appreciation for what your child is trying to learn. Click on the link for NJYSA on our home page for valuable resources in this regard.
  4. Remain on the parents’ sideline well back from the field of play to allow for a margin of safety when players’ momentum carry them out-of-bounds.
  5. Encourage good sportsmanship towards players, coaches and referees in order to serve as an appropriate role model and to help prepare your child for future challenges.
  6. Arrive on time for pick-up after all games and practices or make arrangements with another team parent. Although coaches are instructed to remain on site until all players have been accounted for, they are already generous with the time that they dedicate, so they should not be asked to do even more. They are not a baby-sitting service and an emergency may require your immediate return so stay available.
  7. Say Thank You to the coaches and assistants for their volunteered time and effort in coaching your child.

Most definitely DON"t do the following:

  1. Please refrain from watching games outside of the parents’ sideline including along the end lines, behind the goals or on the players’ sideline. This is a distraction for players, coaches and officials.
  2. Avoid criticizing calls made by the officials. This is simply unacceptable under all circumstances and especially egregious when youth referees are involved as in our House Program games.
  3. Please do not shout instructions or "coach" players during a match. This will most likely overload their ability to process the task at hand while trying to remain focused on their own coach’s advice.
  4. Never engage another player before, during or after a game, either on the field or off of it, regarding any play. Coaches and referees control the games and any dialog from an adult to a player is totally unacceptable and grounds for removal.
  5. Don’t critique other players or coaching decisions. It is not appropriate and counterproductive to all parties. Let players play, trainers train and coaches coach.
  6. Try not to characterize a play as either good or bad as this often reinforces the wrong ideas in a player. Examples as booming kicks or individual dribbling may appear to the uneducated eye as impressive when they are instead counter-productive to good soccer’s short passing and team work.
  7. Do not to send your child to games or practices wearing any type of jewelry, wristbands, earrings or anything that could pose a safety issue, including casts of any kind. Absolutely no exceptions can be made.
  8. Under no circumstances should you approach a coach immediately before or after a game or practice with questions or complaints regarding your child’s status on the team. It simply is not a good idea, so make arrangements to speak privately at a mutually aggreable time and place.