Filed under: Better Soccer Coaching Blog Guests, Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: behaviour, coach, parents, players, relationships, respect
Respect is at the center of the player-coach relationship. With a setting that is based on respectful behavior, all members of a team can thrive. A parent’s role in helping a child to have a good relationship with a coach is one of instruction, encouragement and support. Unless you, the parent, are the one doing the coaching, it’s not possible to control how the coaching is handled. However, you can work to provide positive support that will enable a child to have a good experience.
Although children at different levels have different physical and behavioral abilities, it’s always possible to teach respect. Important aspects of respectful behavior include paying attention when the coach speaks or models a skill, listening without interrupting, following directions, trying new skills and asking questions in a polite manner. Additionally, respectful behavior involves not being distracted by other kids. Simple use of polite words and behaviors can also help form a positive relationship. Teach your child to thank the coach for his time at the end of practice.
A young child can stray off task easily, and distractions are common in early league levels. However, coaches working with young children are generally trained to keep activities shorter to accommodate age-related needs. As children grow older, more attentive behavior can be expected as longer drills and activities are provided. Help a child to enjoy a good relationship with coaches at any level by reinforcing respectful behavior with encouraging words. Correct your child when inappropriate behavior is observed, and be sure to praise positive behavior.
Model Respectful Behavior
Your child doesn’t have control over his arrival time. Being late to practices and games can create problems for the coach, and it’s on you to make sure your child arrives on time. The team can also suffer if multiple kids are late or absent. Good communication from a parent can help. Let your child’s coach know if he will be absent or late. Make it a point to be on time for official activities. Follow through on commitments to the team, especially those involving things like after-game snacks or important forms.
A parent who expects a child to show respect for an authority figure like a coach must also model such behavior. If you bad-mouth the coach’s style, decisions or other actions, your child may assimilate some of these same sentiments into his own behavior. If he perceives negativity on the part of Mom or Dad, he may feel that he is justified in acting out or criticizing on his own.
No coach is perfect, and parents often disagree about a coach’s decisions. However, helping a child to have a positive experience means that it’s important to avoid attacking his coach publicly or privately. This can be tough, especially if there is a perception that the coach hasn’t treated a child fairly. However, it’s important to remember the power you have as a role model.
Act in a Supporting Role
Coaches often appreciate the availability of parents during practices and games. Having a parent available makes it possible to quickly deal with serious behavioral issues. Additionally, having a few parents help out can lighten the duties of the coach by making it easier to manage drills and other administrative tasks. Consider volunteering as a team parent and assisting a coach in coordinating distribution of team notices, uniforms or fundraising materials. Demonstrate a willingness to help set an example for a child while supporting the coach. Parental support can do a lot to keep a child’s relationship with the coach positive.
Dealing with Differences
It’s important to realize that no matter how attentive and cooperative a child is, the player-coach relationship is two-sided. There will be times when a parent may not agree with how a play is handled, where a child is positioned, or when a child has to sit out for a play (or longer). An unintended slight can lead to a negative relationship between parents, players and coaches. It’s important to address concerns directly with the coach. Similarly, teach a child to ask questions respectfully if he disagrees with how a situation has been handled. Help your youngster understand that the coach is the leader and has the responsibility for decision-making. It’s important not to over-exaggerate small issues. At the same time, a pattern of oversights may require some private discussion.
Your child will have many coaches over time. Every coach will be unique in his approach to team discipline, drills and game strategies. It’s important to help your child understand that respect is an ongoing priority. Encourage him with positive points at the beginning of a season, and continue to model support and cooperation in order to facilitate a pleasant player-coach relationship.
Take out a 97p trial to Soccer Coach Weekly today.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: code of conduct, player respect, referee, respect, tantrum, The FA
I’ve come away from a match this week with the behaviour of one of the opposition players bothering me. It bothers me because I know the manager of the team and he has put a lot of hard work into his coaching, but he allowed one player to ruin the game.
Putting aside the wild tackles, the constant whinging about my players and the tantrum when taken off, what was ringing in my ears as I drove away from the game was his last verbal tirade because one of my players chested the ball down and he was adamant it was a handball.
And the annoying thing is it was a good game, a close match with some good techniques shown by both teams… but that one player spoilt it.
Manager, parents and players all have to realise it spoils the game if you shout or contest decisions. No one wants to hear it and most parents just want to see their children enjoy the game. They won’t do so if bad bhaviour and lack of respect is allowed to continue.
A timely reminder then that a code of conduct for players is vital to your club.
Here are the main points you should base a code of conduct on:
A code of conduct is written to reflect the responsibilities players have to the game.
Young players should be made aware of this and be made aware of what is expected of them.
They should know that nobody wins all the time. You win some, you lose some and when they lose they should do so graciously.
They should congratulate the winners, not blame the referee or anyone else and be determined to do better next time.
Good losers earn more respect than bad winners.
Obligations towards the game – a player should:
Develop their sporting abilities in terms of skill, technique, tactics and stamina.
Give maximum effort even when the game is lost.
Set a positive example to younger players and supporters.
Never use inappropriate language.
Always keep within the laws of the sport and use fair play.
Obligations towards the team – a player should:
Know the laws, rules and spirit of the game and the competition rules.
Accept success and failure, victory and defeat, equally.
Respect towards opponents – a player should:
Treat opponents with due respect at all times.
Avoid violence, rough play and help injured players.
Respect towards officials – a player should:
- Accept the decision of the match officials without protest, if a decision needs explaining the team captain should ask.
Watch this clip from the English FA about player respect:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: FA, Remyca, respect, Runcorn
My left back didn’t like the aggression coming from the parents of the home team. It unnerved him as they growled and snarled their support for their players, two of them with large threatening dogs on the side of the pitch. He walked off and told me he wouldn’t play in the aggressive atmosphere that the match was being played in.
It was an U15s game. Not much fun for anyone involved. But we played on.
I was reminded of this game when I read about a match last month where a mass brawl took place and one of the players allegedly used one of the FA Respect poles holding the rope up to keep spectators a safe distance away. That’s some irony, a Respect pole being used as a weapon.
The FA’s Respect programme has a massive role to play in the grass roots game – it’s vital we all embrace it for what it is, making the evironment our players are in safe and sound. If this kind of thing is going on then players will not feel safe and sound and one of our responsibilities as coaches has been negelected.
The FA has a role to play as well in educating the grass roots so they know why this is not the kind of environment we want our players to be in.