Advice to parents encouraging the players

Make the children feel safe and valued

Encouraging players is an important aspect of the support we can all give to our children.

During Games

Sadly it is commonly talked about that parents can ruin the environment in sport with over-excitement or negativity towards other teams, players, officials. This is a growing problem, especially in football. Hence the above mentioned new rules from the KNVB coaching from the sidelines should not take place. Please do not coach! You have no idea what the coach has asked the players to do.

Example, coach ask player not to press but drop and hold (this is a defensive tactic), but the parent shouts to player “tackle him”. Who should the young player listen to?!?

Just a few examples of what is typically heard during games:

run faster” “get it” “great tackle”

To a young mind this can be understood as “Run faster”. The child is trying his/her best. Being told to run faster can make a child feel inferior to other players that are maybe more athletic. A child will run as fast as they can when needed and if physically possible if they are happy and enjoying the game.

“get it”

What does this actually mean? Get what? Children always try and “win back” the football when the other team have it. However players should not jump in to tackles when “holding” or “dropping” might be a better option.

“great tackle”

In most cases the young player who has lost the ball during a tackle will feel demotivated. So to lose the ball, and then to hear a parent scream “great tackle” or “fantastic scrimmage” (American term) can be seen/felt as negative towards the opposition.

Screaming when a goal is scored

Players are told to respect their opponents at all times. Celebrating a goal scored is of course normal practice, but in young players minds that have just conceded a goal it can be upsetting. So to concede a goal and then have a group of very loud parents screaming and whistling etc is quite negative to a young mind.

Suggestions for parents to use: Instead of “run faster” = Keep it up OR well done. Instead of “get it” = Please do not use this phrase as it is not a footballing technical or tactical term. Just watch the game. Instead of “Great tackle” = Well done or maybe nothing at all. Instead of screaming and over reacting when goals are scored = clapping, positive well done. Try to take a look at the other team and see how they feel.

Parents should not be on the playing surface during training. Of course we encourage parent to support their children and feel free to watch the training outside the playing surface. The trainers need to focus on the health and safety of all players and to focus the players on the training. Having a parent on the field during training can and will disrupt the players focus. The training area is for players and trainers ONLY.

For a great time together

It is not professional football. Players should be challenged, trained to improve, play as a team, and respect the opponent and officials. Shouting can put players under pressure to win and this is not good for them at a young age. The club’s main focus is for our children to feel valued, safe and for them to have fun together, enjoying their favourite sport.