Ideas for Being a Supportive AYSO Parent


Before the Game

  • Tell your child you love him/her regardless of the outcome.
  • Say “Have fun! I love watching you play!”


During the game

  • Understand that kids are over-stimulated during games. The coach may be giving instructions, opponents and teammates are talking, the crowd is cheering, and the referee is blowing the whistle. To a youth sports participant, the atmosphere is much like that of a fighter pilot with enemy jets racing all around.
  • What spectactors say can be supportive, distracting, or harmful. Stick with Supportive.
    • Supportive: “Nice pass, Amy!” (after the action has moved away from Amy)
    • Distracting: “Pass the ball!” or “Shoot!”
    • Hostile: “Why’d you do that?”
    • See:
  • Often, the best thing you can do as a parent is to be quiet.
  • Cheer and acknowledge good plays by both teams


After the game

  • Thank the officials for doing a difficult job.
  • Thank the coaches for their efforts.
  • Understand that after a difficult loss is not a good time to question a coach.
  • Thank your opponents for a good game.
  • Congratulate your child and teammates for their efforts.
  • Compliment individual players on good plays they made in the game.
  • Recognize coach or referee actions at


During the car ride home

  • “I love watching you play”
  • Talk about literally anything other than soccer. Especially not the game you just watched.
  • If you must, point out a good play your child made during the game.
  • Avoid criticizing or identifying mistakes.
  • Ask open-ended questions about how the game was played rather than how many points were scored. Here are examples of open-ended questions that might apply:
  • Did you have fun?
  • Did you give it your best effort?