Parental Guidelines

Many adults become frustrated when watching young children attempt to play football. They expect too much too soon. It is wholly unrealistic, for example, to expect children under the age of 10 to develop flowing passing movements.
 
Adult’s frustration, particularly parents’, often comes about because they focus on the children's failings rather that their successes. In the absence of an understanding of what can be executed of children in terms of performance, adults too easily highlight the result; not ‘how well did you play?’ but ‘What was the score? We therefore need to identify what children CAN do as opposed to criticizing what they CANNOT do. To make a valid judgment about performance adults need to know what to expect.
 
General Principles  
 
Adults will not be able to expect very much if they do not reduce the importance of the outcome of the game. Children will not respond well to highly critical adults: their anxiety levels increase and their decision making becomes less effective, so it is important that adults do not become another problem to overcome while the child is playing.
 
The children, at all ages, should be able to show respect and the common courtesies to all players, adults, game leaders and officials involved in football. Adults should be able to expect simple good manners from all children.
 
All children should be able to recognize the equipment used and their own playing equipment. They should recognize the importance of care for all the equipment used, including their own.
 
What Children can expect from Adults  
  • Children should not be forced to participate in football: they are not playing to satisfy your ambitions.
  • Players are involved in football for their enjoyment – not yours. Emphasis should be placed on fun and enjoyment.
  • Always encourage your child to play by the rules.
  • Teach your child that effort and teamwork are as important as victory, so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment.
  • Never ridicule or shout at your child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • Children learn best by example. Applaud good play by your team and by members of the opposing team.
  • Do not publicly question official’s decisions and never doubt his or her honesty.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's football.
  • Recognize the value and importance of coaches. They give their time and efforts to help your child.
  • Praise effort as well as improvement.
 
As a parent the Club hopes that you will  
  • Help with transporting children to and from training sessions and matches.
  • Support your team and the club on match days.
  • Become involved with the social events and fundraising organised for the players and parents.
 
Children can expect that Adults DO NOT  
 
  • Attempt to ‘coach’ or ‘manipulate’ the players while they are playing
  • Use any jargon or dictate tactics
  • Shout, argue, swear, become violent or use sarcasm
  • Ignore children who need help
  • Assess players by their abilities
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Remember that children are often easily led, anxious to please and prone to over-enthusiasm, and so plenty of praise and positive reinforcement is needed – especially with beginners.
 
Children find it hard to understand negative instructions and easier to understand positive reinforcement and this may can frequently mean playing down the result and playing up the performance. This reduces the child’s anxiety and decreases their worry about failing.
Copyright of Cumberland United Football Club 2015