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Guidelines for Coaches

As you know, it only takes one player who chooses to ignore the rules to spoil a game for everyone. As a coach, you should always insisted that players respect their opponents, teammates, game officials, and everyone else connected to soccer.  Even if they don't like their opponents, they have to respect their right to play and enjoy the game. It’s up to coaches to model good sportsmanship. To do this we suggest the following:

 

  • Set a good example for everyone; if you behave badly, your players and parents probably will do the same.
  • Teach players and parents the rules of the game so that they will better understand the referees’ decisions.
  • Create and write down expected standards for player and parent behavior; announce these rules at the beginning of the season, and remind the team about them whenever necessary.
  • Insist your players acknowledge their opponents at the end of the game. In recreational soccer, the parents often form human tunnels for both teams to run through. High fives are fine for older players.
  • Immediately reprimand players who fail to adhere to established guidelines. Show them that you are serious. You may have to sit them out or suspend them for a game. If they use foul language during a game or argue with the coach or a teammate during practice, you might make them run extra laps. Any of these retributions can create an eye-opening experience.

Guidelines for Parents

Are parents exempt from good sportsmanship? Absolutely not!  You might not be aware of this, but if a parent behaves badly, the coach has the right to ban them from one or more games.  Parents, teach your kids how to behave.  All you have to do is:

  • Cheer when appropriate
  • Control your negative emotions.
  • Never openly criticize a coach’s decision.
  • Resist criticizing officials and referees.
  • Show support for all players, not just yours.
  • Refrain from coaching players before, during, or after the game.
  • Enjoy soccer for what it is, a game.

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