I know how frustrating it can be to have some 16-year-old referee blow an offside call, costing your team the coveted victory. I’ve dealt with the crying kid who happened to be in goal when that fateful shot slipped into the net, in a clear violation of all soccer goodness. It should have been disallowed. But please remember that most referees, coaches and assistant coaches are just volunteers. And they are volunteering so that your kid can play this game.
It’s rarely a good idea to yell at a referee. And, it’s certainly never a good idea to yell at one of the kids on the other team — even if they pushed down little Johnnie, without any regard for the rules. Let the coaches and refs handle it.
I remember one overzealous mom who thought it would be funny to yell the wrong instructions to a 9-year-old on the other team — this, after the kid’s coach had tried to give her the right instructions.
“Clear the ball, Suzie, like we practiced,” the coach encouraged. The mom from the opposing team retorted, “Kick it toward the goal, Suzie.” She thought it was a hoot. We were all embarrassed for her.
If parents must yell things, keep it positive and simple. “Go, INSERT NAME of TEAM!” ) will cover most situations. You should never call-out the individual by name because he/she must concentrate on the game and your call will distract them!
Coaches, too, should think about what they yell or even say really loudly, as we often must to be heard half-a-field away. Try following the simple rule of bookending. When you want to give an instructional critique that can’t wait till halftime or the next practice, surround it with encouragement. “Good effort, team. Next time, try to get it closer to the sideline. But great hustle.”
Cal-N Coaching Committee Chairman USSF “C” NSCAA National Diploma NSCAA Advance GK Diploma