Sunday, 2 March 2014

Parent Conduct

I was doing some research tonight and came across some amazing stats from an August 2001 article in Sports Illustrated for Kids titled Kids Speak Out:  Violence in Youth Sports 

Of over 3,000 children surveyed, it was found that:

- 74% have seen out-of-control adults at their games.

- 37% said they have witnessed parents yelling at kids.
- 36% cited embarrassment as the main emotion they felt while witnessing bad adult behavior.
- 4% said they have seen violent behaviors by adults.

I found these numbers staggering at first, though when I stopped to think about my experience at my children's games over the last couple of years, they are not surprising.  I think it is sad that most parents come out to games with good intentions, but can so easily lose control.  That this loss of perspective leads to embarrassment, is also unfortunate.  I think that this issue is a major part of the argument in support of having parents sign codes of conduct at the beginning of the season.  The only way to prevent this kind of behavior is to clearly state that it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated from the very beginning.    

Here is a link to a parent code of conduct form from the BC Soccer Website-

Interestingly, BC Soccer also provides a link to the Respect in Sport Soccer Parent E-Learning Course on their website.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Strategies for handling bad behavior

Our team has been experiencing challenging behavior from a few of our players.  It is distracting and frustrating to the girls that want to play, especially when they find themselves playing short when the others refuse to come on.  Unfortunately, they are also young enough that this behavior can be slightly contagious.  As a coach I feel like I should intervene, but  I struggle with knowing the extent to which I can be/should be disciplining them.  I have to admit, I would rather parents intervene, as I am uncomfortable with unpleasantness being associated with such an enjoyable pass-time.  We have tried increasing the structure of our team, bringing benches and instituting quicker substitutions.  We have also asked parents to intervene as soon as they notice their child not cooperating.  Unfortunately, we still are still experiencing participation rates of less than fifty percent.  Enough that one opposing team actually complained! 

I did a bit of web searching on the topic, and found one site that suggested the children would be more compliant if the coaches made things more interesting. 

So, now to put a bit more effort in and change things up!

One helpful website I found was Soccer Coach Canada.  Among other things, you can sign up for a weekly newsletter that includes age appropriate drills and games.  I can't imagine how useful this will be!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Benefits of Multi-Sport Activity

As the season draws to an end, many of us are debating whether or not to sign up for Spring Soccer.   Some people feel that it is a worthwhile consideration, as the more exposure you give your child, the faster their skills will develop and the better player they will be. Others feel that it is important to expose your child to different kids of sports as they will learn different skills, strengthen different muscle groups, and become well-rounded athletes.  I'm inclined to let the children decide!

Here's a post from Athletico Physical Therapy that advocates for multi sport activity-,-YCS-Lev.-II,-ACE-&s2=543&articlesource=250