Parents of Football Take Note! Here's Some Sound Advice.

10 tips for how to be a supportive football Mam or Dad!

We have all heard or witnessed the horror when parents go mad literally on the side-lines and shout abuse at the refs and even the coaches of their kid’s football team.
Of course parents want their children to win games and succeed fully to their potential but what about their kiddies having fun? We have compiled a list (after talking to a number of coaches/mentors of football teams) and you may find there is one or two of these that you're guilty of?
  • Do not coach the team from the side lines- It is all well and good trying to motivate your kid but if you are shouting “stay with your player” and the mentors are saying another thing it can get rather confusing for your nipper!
  • Support don’t chastise- The kids need your support and encouragement, playing a match is incredibly hard for anyone (even professionals) and hearing choruses of “what are you doing?” is not the right way to inspire them.
  • Let the mentors do their job- If you want to coach a team, go coach one but don’t interrupt team talks and tell your kid to do things differently to the way the mentors instruct them. When the team needed mentors you said you were too busy so don’t intrude now.
  • Praise and applaud (a lot) - The kids love seeing their parents and friends cheer them on it is part of the enjoyment of the game for these little players. You can quite simply never cheer or applaud too much, and after the game remind your kid of how well they tried.
  • Don’t annoy the ref- We are not going to agree with the referee the whole time and it can be incredibly frustrating, however it is infuriating watching parents scream obscenities at the ref regularly. "Zip it and say nothing please".
  • Complain in private- Your kid didn’t play the amazing way they normally would but guess what your child knows that more than anyone. Chat at home in private to your partner or family member if you must, but avoid putting down your nipper directly, you may ruin their confidence or their love of the game.
  • Arrive and collect on time- Mentors have homes to go to and places to be too, so be considerate and arrive to collect your child after practice or matches on time. Be punctual and if you are unable to be there at the right time organise a lift for your youngster with another parent.
  • Practice at home- Take a few hours on the weekend and bring your tot out to play and practice their techniques. Make it fun and involve all the family and hopefully you will encourage new players of the future.
  • Provide nutritious food at home- Having a good diet is vital for young kids especially when they are exercising a lot and burning calories. If they are not the best eaters be sure to tell them how important healthy eating is and leave sweet treats for occasions.
  • Keep your kids fitness up at home and keep them interested- Along with a healthy diet and practicing their skills you can also walk to school or cycle in the evenings. Keeping their fitness up will benefit not only your kiddie but the team and being physically fit is a huge advantage to any player.
Next time you hit the field at a match be a fantastic football Mam or Dad because your kiddie will thank you for it, I promise.
Written by Irish mummy blogger and staff writer at
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Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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