If you want success as a coach you have to make sure all the elements of your team go together and parents are a very important part of this success. They have the ability to make or break your season. You not only need them on your side, you need them to support and help your players at the side of the pitch.
Tips for handling players’ parents
One of the ways I get parents to see how important it is to encourage their children on the pitch is to use a spot of role reversal! Set up a game with the parents on the pitch and your players on the side and get the team to shout advice at the parents. It’s a good bonding drill and a good way to show parents how they must be positive not negative towards the players.
Call a meeting of your players’ parents and tell them to bring their trainers. Start by laying down the laws for behaviour at matches – this is one of the most important things you will do. Parents like discipline and guidance.
End your soccer coaching session by making the parents play a short match.
Tell the parents to sort themselves into two teams and get your players to stand on the sideline and scream and shout at them like parents do at matches. The children will love doing this.
- Get them to play a short game – 5 minutes each way – with the
children shouting from the sidelines.
- Add some confusion yourself by shouting “CLEAR IT” or “SHOOT!”
- After the game ask them what they could hear from the sidelines. Most will say “it was too difficult to listen when I was trying to concentrate”. Then ask them what they think their own children hear. They should see that reacting to situations is hard enough without being shouted at.
- For the parents who did hear what was said – often what you, the coach, shouted – ask them if this instruction or direction helped them.
- Point out that only thing that yelling directions or instructions to a player accomplishes, is to distract them from their focus.
By showing the grown ups how it feels to be a player, the soccer moms and dads should realise that shouting at the players is not a positive way to be. Some parents will still yell their heads off, but they have been taught a lesson in using positive language and the majority will have learnt something from their involvement in this soccer coaching session.