Parents screaming at children during their soccer games: why it’s bad and why they shouldn’t do it

Soccer is a game. We must never forget it. “Soccer is the most important among the less important things” says the great Jorge Valdano, World Champion with Argentina in Mexico 86′ and today, one of the Real Madrid’s most important board members.

It can be a match of our National Team, of our team by which we go crazy every weekend or, a simple Sunday match of our children, something is clear: it’s impossible not to be passionate about soccer.

However, it’s during our kids games that it’s important to assume that our screams generate discomfort in the children themselves as in the other spectators.

Attending the children’s games and constantly shouting at them what they should do or how they should react during the match may seem as a sign of interest on our part, and it’s true; but the important truth is that the boys don’t need these gestures to motivate themselves, otherwise the screams are just one more pressure and they only get deconcentrated during the course of the match.

Our children play soccer to have fun, to feel part of a community, to learn to work in a team and all this is achieved thanks to the coaches and the trainings throughout the week. As parents, we must respect this.

The soccer field is a space that does not belong to us; it’s exclusively from the teams. We, when witnessing the matches, are only guests and the people within the playing field deserve absolute respect on our part.

Let’s see it this way: attending our children’s matches is equivalent to going as guests to any place we are required to; there are rules, certain ethical concerns and we must behave in a certain way.

The simple act of shouting at them during the activity reduces the free development of the child. If you have any comments about the game or about their specific performance, you can expect to tell it in the most assertive way possible and at home, and not as a reproach, but as an advice.

In soccer, support from the crowd is essential. There would be no soccer without fans. Literally. But at an amateur level, the fans and in this case the parents, have a common responsibility. Which is what? The unconditional support.

In a professional soccer game, one pays a ticket to go see professionals do their job; they have every right to demand them, since they are paying an amount – considerable or not – to see them, to watch a show. In the case of our children’s matches, we should not demand them but accompany them, be participants with them in their development. If we shout it must be only and exclusively to support them. Nothing to reproach them, nothing to demand… It’s neither the place nor our task.

The worst that can happen is that the boys feel that they have to play to satisfy us when they should do it only for the love of the game and to have fun. Be players of good or bad quality, it doesn’t matter; they are playing and they are having fun for what they are: children.

A soccer team is a community formed by its players, coaches and, of course, its fans. Let’s talk about our boys’ matches: the fans are their relatives. And in the stands, both in the field, we must respect and give support among all.

Soccer unites us. Put yourself in our children’s place: imagine waking up early on Sundays, having a delicious breakfast next to the family, going to our room to put on the shirt of our team, then, going all together to the field, and finally, after a hard week of workouts: jumping on the field, knowing that our parents and brothers are in the stands and that whatever I do, they will be happy for me. Let’s try and do it this way.

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