Dear Sideline Coaches {AKA Parents who Have Kids Playing in Sports and have Never Volunteered to Coach but Yell from the Sidelines}

Terri’s back!  She has a great post today on how as parents we may need a gentle reminder to be respectful of those around us and to have fun so our kids will have fun when playing sports!  Thanks Terri!!

Sideline Coaches

Dear Sideline Coaches {AKA Parents who Have Kids Playing in Sports and have Never Volunteered to Coach but Yell from the Sidelines}

by Terri Takata-Smith

In the nicest way possible {please}…SHUT UP. I can make this request because I’ve done time as an assistant coach. I’ve been on the opposite side of the field. I heard you yelling {louder than me} and telling your sons and daughters how to play. I heard you telling them the exact opposite of what we told them to do as coaches. Remember, you are trying to coach your kid but we are trying to coach an entire team! There is a plan in place – you might not know what it is, but they do.

Last season, I went from assistant coach to parent cheerleader. So, now I’m on the same side of the field as you and it’s way worse. It’s mainly dads but there are a few moms out there too. Here’s the deal:

  1. You are embarrassing your kid. You are singling him/her out and you are screaming.
  2. Your kid is most likely not listening to you, which is apparently why you are yelling louder and louder. Your kid is listening to his/her coach.
  3. The parent sitting next to you does not appreciate your continuous commentary {screaming} for the entire game.
  4. The parent sitting at the other end of the field does not appreciate your continuous commentary {screaming} for the entire game.
  5. Other parents on the team talk about you behind your back and hope that someone else will eventually say something or that your son/daughter will get placed on another team next season.
  6. The club asked for volunteer coaches at the beginning of the season and not one of you stepped up. So in the future, step up or shut up.
  7. Your team has a bad reputation of sideline coaching. Other teams talk about the crappy attitude of the parents on your team. It’s your fault.
  8. They are kids. You are an adult. This is a game. It’s supposed to be fun.
  9. You are embarrassing your significant other but he/she is too afraid to tell you.
  10. See #8… and remember, you won’t remember this individual game and neither will your kids but they will remember feeling like they weren’t good enough because you were constantly screaming at them.

Respect Soccer

Just to be clear, I’m telling you to shut up with your coaching but to CHEER as loud as possible.   Clapping, encouraging shout-outs, and maybe an occasional “mark-up” are strongly encouraged. And, if you insist on sideline coaching, don’t you dare try to coach my kid. It’s bad enough you are yelling at your own but this mama bear will not stand for you doing the same to my kid.

Look, I get it. You’re just trying to help.   But you’re not going about it in the right way.   You are embarrassing your kid. You are frustrating your kid. You are teaching your kid not to listen to or respect his / her coach. You are setting a bad example so please, SHUT UP! More than likely, if you are reading this you are a wife and you know that your husband is this person. You don’t know exactly how to bring it up but now you don’t have to, just make him read this blog. And there, I did it for you!

Check out this blog posted titled ‘What Parents Should Say as Their Kids Perform’ by Tim Elmore that I absolutely love. At your son’s / daughter’s next game make sure to do a lot more cheering than coaching. Your kid will appreciate it. You’ll have a better time and so will everyone around you. GO PARENTS!

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