How To Be A Superstar Parent On The Sideline

We have all heard parents on the sideline at their kids soccer match yelling “Shoot it!” or “Pass it!” Maybe you have done that in the past its only natural to want to help your player on the pitch. However shouting instructions does not actually help them develop and learn. These directions can cause apprehension and indecision for a player already under pressure on the field.

In addition what you are yelling may directly contradict what their coaches have been working on with them or what they have instructed the player to do in the match.

Yelling instructions from the sideline leads to players being distracted in the game and in some case they do not learn to make their own decisions and will stop and wait to be told what to do which is not what we want our players to do.

Instead of yelling instruction stick to basic encouragement and cheering. Find out what your child is working on mastering a specific move during training, or building confidence in using their left foot? If you see them do that in a game, go crazy and let them know you saw them try it.

Even as coaches we try not to give players specific instructions during the game, they must make their own mistakes and learn from them. We will give instruction and evaluation when they come off the field while things are fresh in their mind, at half time and at the end of the game. The only major instruction you should hear from our coaches is reminding players to stay in the formation we are trying to play and giving encouragement after a play is dead and the game is stopped.


cheer and give positive feedback when you see your player doing any of the things they have been working on in practices. Cheer for great tackles, shots on goal, goals, passes. Cheer for both teams and show good sportsmanship.


yell or shout at the referee, this teaches your young player that it is acceptable to question the referee and show disrespect. The referee is not going to change his or her decision because you didn’t like it on the sideline. We really need to teach our young players to accept the referees decision whether they feel it is right or wrong and continue to play the game.

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