Parents play a pivotal role in club and community sports around the world.
However, sometimes strong emotions can get the better of people, and what starts as encouraging and supportive messaging, turns into being counter-productive.
It’s important that these inappropriate actions – even subtle ones – don’t affect the experience for everyone.
Here are some tips to ensure your child, their teammates, and everyone involved get the best and most out of their MiniRoos football.
1. Leave the coaching to the coach
A major focus should be on letting the children play with minimal instruction and plenty of encouragement. Let them play. It’s a game after all!
2. It’s not about winning
Focus on your child’s efforts and performance rather than whether they win or lose. At this age children are playing football purely for fun. There is no evidence to suggest winning is a motivating factor in keeping them playing. Praise them for effort, sportsmanship and skills rather than worrying about the scoreline.
3. Encourage all players
Remember that children learn best by example. Appreciate good performance and skilful plays by all players. Cheer when the opposition score and clap when one of their players has a good run with the ball. Your children will notice.
4. When it comes to respect, lead by example
Parental behaviour is absolutely critical in ensuring that young players enjoy an appropriate environment in their formative years of playing football. Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise.
5. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game
Volunteer at your child’s club to show them you are engaged with their sport as much as they are. Try coaching or see if they need help in the canteen on match days. Don’t be shy to put your hand up and help out where possible.
Read the MiniRoos’ Parent Information Pack to learn more about making your child’s football experience an enjoyable one.