We understand that being a "soccer parent" can be a stressful task but we encourage each parent to remember the important role that you play in ensuring that each child has a positive and rewarding soccer experience.

Oak Harbor Soccer League East and the E.S.S.L. representatives are always available to assist you and answer any questions that you may have. In the meantime, we offer the following Steps and Tips for soccer parents!

Steps:

Cheer, don’t coach. Avoid yelling specific instructions and issuing commands. This can be extremely confusing for a child and possibly contrary to the coach’s instruction.

Avoid running up and down the sidelines shouting. If you want to follow the action, make sure that you don’t distract the players or block the view of other spectators.

Keep some comments to yourself. Do not speak out to the referee or linesman. Unless they are complimentary, do not direct comments to the members of the opposition. Remember parents can be red carded too!!

Stay away from the goals. In many youth leagues, standing behind the goal is prohibited.

Stand, or sit, at least 3 to 5 yards back from the sidelines (touchlines). Again this is a rule in many youth leagues.

Demonstrate good sportsmanship by applauding exceptional moves by the opposition.

Tips:

Practice silence. Sometimes it is more relaxing for both parents and players, and you will likely view the game differently as well.

Ask your children if they like you to cheer. The answer may surprise you.

Be positive, never negative. If a child loses the ball, for example, “Way to hustle.” Is much better than “You can get that ball.”

Looking for more information? We encourage you to visit:

www.kidsfirstsoccer.com – this site promotes a child centered approach to the organization and instruction of youth sports. Special emphasis is placed on the promotion of the game of soccer as a life-long, family oriented activity that provides for child-parent bonding, team work and friendships, as well as, adequate aerobic exercise. This is a message from a sport psychologist and soccer parent to fellow soccer moms and dads.