Parent Sideline Behavior

We wish to remind parents of your role in making your child's participation in soccer a fun and rewarding experience. As a parent, you play a special role in the development of your son or daughter, and his or her teammates. Your encouragement and good example will do more to ensure good sportsmanship and self-discipline than any other influence. It is important to respect opponents and the referees - they are not the enemy. While winning is important, playing well and fairly is the essence of the game. Over the past few weeks, we have seen many parents exhibiting exemplary behavior but also a few examples of behavior that does not meet the Club's standards. As a reminder, here are a few key points as you head out to watch your child play.*

  • Support your child - Support your child by giving encouragement and showing interest in his or her team. Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Teach your child that hard work, an honest effort and a positive attitude are often more important than a single victory.
  • Always be positive - Children learn more by example than by criticism. Work to be a positive role model, and reinforce positive behavior in others. Applaud good plays by others on your child's team as well as good plays by the opposing team. Do not criticize any child's performance from the sidelines. Accept the results of each game. Teach your child to be gracious in victory and to turn defeat into victory by learning and working toward improvement. If you have a constructive suggestion, please provide it on another day.
  • Don't be a sideline coach or referee - Please refrain from coaching or refereeing from the sidelines. Parents who shout or scream from the sidelines often give inappropriate advice at the wrong time. The coach should be the only sideline voice. Remain a fair distance from the sidelines and within the spectator area. You and your child will both enjoy the game more if you put some emotional distance between yourself and the field or play. Officials are symbols of fair play, integrity and sportsmanship. Do not openly question their judgment or honesty.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude toward your opponents and their families - Opponents are not enemies. Take care to show good hospitality at home and to represent McLean Youth Soccer in a positive way when visiting other clubs. Never allow yourself to be drawn into a verbal disagreement with opposing parents or coaches.
  • Remember that your child wants to have fun - Children must establish their own goals - to play the game for themselves. Don't impose unreasonable demands on your child. Let your children experience the fun of playing as well as the challenge of excelling.