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A letter to parents from a coach.

The following letter, in various forms, appears on websites and in hand-outs of youth soccer clubs throughout Canada and the United States. The original author is unknown. Whoever wrote it, they obviously knew, first-hand, how much positive or negative influence parents have on their child’s soccer experience.

Yuri Studin,

A Letter to Parents from a Coach

1. Soccer is a team sport.

2. If you think your child is better than the other kids on the team–congratulations. You probably fall into the majority of soccer parents. However, this is largely irrelevant.
(See # 1.)

3. If you want your child to improve his/her skills and performance, then leave it the coaches. The parents’ jobs are to: pay, drive, and offer positive support. Great soccer parents come to games and shout FOR their kids — not AT them!

4. If you think you can offer good advice to one of the coaches, then see the team manager and arrange to take the coaching certification exam. If you want to coach from the side-lines without coming to team practices, team meetings, team camps, coaches clinics, coaches meetings — please, keep the advice to yourself until you can watch soccer on TV and tell those guys what to do.

5. Communication is very important. If anything at all is bothering your child, let the coach know as soon as possible so that he/she has an opportunity to adjust if possible to make your child’s experience more rewarding and enjoyable. If you really want to destroy a team, tell everyone except the coach about your child’s problem. Talk about it and complain about it with the other parents all season and never let the one person who can fix it know that there is a concern.

6. If you think you can offer good advice to a referee, see # 5 above.

7. A soccer match is not won or lost by any child (see # 1 above).

8. To play well during the season, our children must come together as a team, support each other, and communicate with and trust each other. The coaches and children will accomplish this if we don’t undermine their efforts. However, if you disagree with the foregoing statements, undermining can be easily accomplished by using any of the following tactics: criticizing the efforts of your child… telling your child he/she is the most/least important and best/worst player on the team… telling your child that another child on the team is lousy or has deficiencies… yelling negative comments during practices or games… criticising the decisions or strategies of the coaches… hollering at the referees… or claiming that victory or defeat was the responsibility of any child, yours or someone else’s.

9. The three most important things a parent can say to their child after a game, win or lose, are:

“I enjoyed watching you play.”
“I love you.”
“What would you like to eat?


(Author unknown.)



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