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: https://thesidelineproject.com/
- 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 https://ayso13.org/feedback
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?