Football ‘GAMES’ Development Centres
Keep it fun
1 The sound heard most at games should be the sound of children playing.
2 Parents should remind themselves that what their football-playing children need from them is unconditional support and encouragement, not advice and criticism. Please leave the coaching to the coach.
3 Parents should refrain from shouting instructions during games and instruction from coaches should be minimal. Children need the freedom to think for themselves if they are to learn and grow as football players. It is easy to get emotional in a game but remember it is confusing to a child to have many adults yelling different things to them.
4 Focus on encouragement. Making mistakes is part of learning. Recognise what your child is trying to do, not the result. Please keep your comments to cheers and positive remarks, and support players whether they are playing well or struggling with the game.
5 Don’t be critical of your child’s teammates. If your child hears you being critical, it will make him/her more critical of other teammates. Focus on supporting and helping your child’s progress above all else.
6 Parents and coaches should never express concerns about how the game is being played to players or parents from opposing teams, except to cheer and compliment good play. Concerns or questions about opponents should be handled between coaches.
7 Coaches may only speak to the games supervisors in order to substitute, to point out an injury or emergency, or to respond to the games supervisors if addressed. Parents should never speak to the games supervisors except to offer thanks and compliments at the end of the game. As with the players, mistakes will be made by the games supervisors. However, your children will learn from your example. If you berate an official, they will think that this behaviour is acceptable. If you accept the games supervisor’s decisions, they will focus on the game.
8 Coaches and parents should stay in their designated area. Please do not roam up and down the sidelines. Find a spot to watch your team and project calmness.
9 All spectators should watch from the sidelines, not from behind the goals. No coach or parent should stand alongside the goalkeepers.
10 All players and coaches should line up and shake hands before and at the end of the game.
Be your child’s number 1 fan before, during and after the game!
Never should the outcome of a game matter more to the parents and coaches than the well-being of the children playing it. Let the children play the game as they see it, let them take chances and fearlessly make mistakes. Their decision making will improve and the game will become their best teacher.