Advice for Parents
As parents you have a crucial role in supporting your son's development at the football club. Setting a positive example through a positive sideline manner and guiding him towards showing respect to the coaches, officials and players alike will set him on a good path for developing as a player and a person.
This section gives some guidelines on areas to consider to ensure the safety and welfare of all the players at the club.
Sharing Lifts guidelines
Within a football club, it is often necessary to help out other parents by giving their child a lift to games. It is important that we assist each other so that all the players are able to attend the matches. However, we should also follow the following guidelines to protect ourselves and expose those who are potential threats. Where possible 2 adults should be in the car with the children. This gives you an adult witness. If this is not possible, make sure there is more than one child in the car with you (unless this is your own child).
It is also recommended that other people's children are seated in the back and adults in the front.
Giving feedback to your son
As mentioned in the Matchday conduct section, it is not advised to commentate or coach the players during matches. Once the match has finished it is common for some parents to talk about the game to their child in the car on the way home. This gives an opportunity for feedback and discussion. However it is also an environment where the child is trapped and can not escape from criticism directed at him. This can lead to a situation where the player gets upset by the criticism/advice given to him.
Parents are often keen to give feedback to their sons. This can be healthy if it leads to an even two way discussion where the child is able to review his performance and find ways to improve in the future. However, if the player is receiving contrary advice from his parents to that of his coaches, it may be confusing to the child who is torn between pleasing his parents and his coaches. Listening to the information given in sessions is a great way of learning from the coaches, so that your thoughts aren't in conflict with the coaches. Also if you unsure of a tactic shown by the coaches, it is a good idea to approach him and ask him to explain it to you. This way the coaches and parents can work together for the best interests of the child.
Abuse from sidelines
Abusive behaviour from parents to players, coaches, other parents, officials or anyone is not to be tolerated in any shape or form. If somebody offends you, then please walk away and report the incident to your parents’ liaison officer. It is imperative that the correct environment is provided for the children to learn.
All adults looking after children have the responsibility to protect them. Although it only happens on rare occasions, there are people in society who wish to harm children. Therefore we ask that parents show vidulance on match days and at training.
Should you see a stranger who looks suspicious, please report this person to the parents’ liaison officer or to you coach/manager. Get to know the people involved at your club so that if a stranger looks to make contact with the children, you can identify them. If there is someone who you identify as paying extra attention to a particular child or showing any unusual signals that show you concern, please report your thoughts. We are not looking to make a witch hunt for every stranger that turns up at the club, but instead pay attention and make checks where necessary. If we are all vidulant, we give the potential abusers less opportunity to harm children and more opportunity of being caught.
F.A.'s Code of conduct for parents/spectators
Parents/spectators have a great influence on children’s enjoyment and success in football. All children play football because they first and foremost love the game – its fun. It is important to remember that however good a child becomes at football within your club, it is important to reinforce the message to parents/spectators that positive encouragement will contribute to:
• Children enjoying football
• A sense of personal achievement
• Improvement in the child’s skills and techniques.
A parent’s/spectator’s expectations and attitudes have a significant bearing on a child’s attitude towards:
• Other players
Ensure that parents/spectators within your club are always positive and encouraging towards all of the children, not just their own.
Encourage parents/spectators to:
• Applaud the opposition as well as your own team
• Avoid coaching the child during the game
• Not to shout and scream
• Respect the referee’s decision
• Give attention to each of the children involved in football, not just the most talented
• Give encouragement to everyone to participate in football.