Watching our children learn, compete and improve in the game of soccer is fun for all parents. It is important that parents are involved and informed in their child's experiences in the club, but Lexington Soccer Association (LSA) also believes the role of a parent should be one of care and support.
We ask our parents to simply BEHAVE on the sidelines. As a result of this philosophy, below are the 11 points that will guide the LSA parent culture. Should your actions directly conflict with any of these points both you and your player may be subject to suspension or further punishment.
1) Let the Coaches Coach:
There should only be one person/voice that coaches. If you are telling your son or daughter or any other player to do something, then you are coaching. The problem is compounded if you are instructing your son or daughter to do something that is different from what their coach is telling them. This creates confusion and distraction.
2) Let the Kids Play:
Soccer is a difficult game. It is made even more difficult when parents are yelling from the sidelines. Encourage them, cheer for them, but do not go beyond this.
3) Do Not Discuss the Play of Any Players in Front of Other Parents:
Negative comments are hurtful and unnecessary and kill parent harmony – something that is essential to a team’s experience and success.
4) Your Children Listen:
A negative parent attitude often results in a negative child’s attitude. There is no quicker way to erode teamwork or have a child not listen to instructions than to have their parent tell them that "your coach doesn't know what they are doing" or "Player X is an awful player and everyone knows it".
5) Do Not Complain About Your Son or Daughter’s Coaches to Other Parents:
Complaining is contagious. If you have an issue, speak to your coach. If the issue is not important enough to speak to your coach about it, then don’t complain to others. Please remember that our coaches are not professional coaches – they are volunteers and parents just like you.
6) Positive Comments from the Sideline:
Make positive comments from the sidelines! You can often see a young player making an extra effort when they hear encouraging words.
7) Negative Comments About the Other Team:
Players from both teams are children. These young players are not professionals. Speaking about the other team is tasteless, classless and reflects back poorly on the LSA. This will not be tolerated.
8) Interaction with Parents from the Other Team:
These parents are not the enemy. In many cases, there can be some great conversations or discussions amongst parent groups. On the other hand, if these parents are not representing their team and their club in a positive way, do not come down to their level.
Outbursts towards the referee or the other team send a terrible signal to our children on the field. Giving them the impression that blaming refs or others for a bad result, sets them up for excuse making and bad habits. Blaming others is not a formula for success in sports or in life.
10) ‘It Was in the Heat of the Moment’:
We all feel things and are tempted to say things in the ‘heat of the moment’. Our LSA players who do things in the ‘heat of the moment’ receive a yellow or red card, get called for fouls, etc. So, we should apply similar standards to our own sideline behavior.
Like your child who will make mistakes during a game, so will a referee. These referees are learning and improving, and negative feedback and questioning calls is not needed or welcome, regardless of how bad you think they are doing. Many of our refs are children. Verbal abuse from parents and their negativity often drive these refs to tears. Many never come back to refereeing. Simple request…please behave.