I really like your ideas in the article “Some Cures for Sideline Coaching” and have a few focus points to hopefully add.
I think there are at least three categories of side liners – 1) “Innocents” in that they are new to the game and probably new to parenting, 2) “I want to help-ers’” in that they know enough to have basic rules and nomenclature under hand and have probably been around a few seasons, and 3) “I should be running this show…” types that come from various backgrounds and have an inflated view of their understanding of the game and potential impact on the youth players. Each of these groups requires a different interaction strategy:
1) “Innocents” need to be reaffirmed for their participation and given basic rules/tidbits about how to be a great parent at a soccer game… “you can help me in this way…” (e.g. encouraging vs. discouraging comments, rules reminders “both feet down, over the head…”)
2) “I want to help-ers” can be directed to focus their energy on specific topics… the primary article calls for generating statistics…great job for a “I want to help-er. Also, call for support on specific game issues (right side-left side offense strengths or specific defense weaknesses…) This is great during-game interaction with parents.
3) “I want to be running the show” are a different breed. Sometimes they really do have great understanding and want to support, but lack interaction skills, so the coach needs to directly interact and basically employ “the way to the team is through me…” mentality. Sometimes there are nuts out there that watched a game on TV once and now they are ready to win the World Cup. Good luck with them. These are the same people that paint their bodies for Monday Night Football and shave their heads… Great people with great hearts mind you, but harder to manage on the sideline. My counsel – recruit an “I want to help-er” and assign them to the (idiot) that wants to run the show. This may not be totally effective, but should give you some space and time in today’s game to do you primary job of helping your team to be the best that it can be… !
Those Are My thoughts… James Stewart
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