Football-7 game in Spain.

10 y.o. player to his father and the rest of the parents on the stands:


This was the answer of this player to the parents on the stands after being told during all the game what he has or not to do during the game, desperate about all the shouts from the parents, he said out loud, let me play!!!

Do not argue, LET ME PLAY!!!
Do not argue, LET ME PLAY!!!

This post it is a bit different from the idea of the webpage but I feel it is needed also to know one one of the main problems in youth-football: PARENTS.

Why this happen? Easy, many parents want to be parents but also coaches from the side line, not respecting at all the work of us, the coaches, confusing the kids to this point:

Should I do what my coach ask me to do or what my dad/mum is telling me from the stands?

One of the biggest problems for us, coaches in youth mostly in small clubs, are the interferences of the parents in our job as coaches. Parents have to realize what are their role as a parents and respect the job of the coaches.

About the behavior of the parents, I would like to share with you all the decalogue written by a sport psychologist Patricia Ramírez @Patri_psicologa to parents at football schools:

1. Remember why your child does sport. The main thing is that he likes it. There are others, such as practicing healthy behavior, being with friends or socialize. The goal is not to win.

2. Share the same values that the club. Find a sports center related to his philosophy of life.

3. Not commands. Only support, win or lose, however your child plays.

4. Do not require him to train more, or exercising outside trainings. Your child is not a star, it’s a boy. Even if you have talent, he may not want to choose sport as a profession and practice it just for fun.ly support, win or lose, however your child played.

5. Do not push or guidelines, or screaming, or rebuked, or damn; not make gestures that show your child is disappointed by his game.

6. Respect all figures involved in the sport community: coach, referees, other technicians, gardeners …

7. Control your emotions. You can not verbalize everything that crosses your mind. Educated people do not show verbal incontinence.

8. Never speak badly of their team mates. The other children are part of the team. The aim of the group is always above the individual. And speaking badly of his colleagues is to speak badly of the people who share values, emotions and a common project.

9. Modify your way to animate. It is not correct the child, but strengthen them.

10. Do not inculcate false expectations to your kid, like telling heis a champion, he is the best and if he endeavors can reach anywhere.

Parents have to realize the importance of the work of all the coaches that work with the kids during all the season, every practice and every game,… Each time they try to “help” the kids from the side line, they are doing totally the opposite, creating confusion in the kids and not respecting all our job as coaches.

In elite clubs, like Premier League, La Liga, Serie A,… rules are really clear, parents cannot interference the club/coaches work, but the lower division clubs, in my opinion, should have also clear lines about this matter, in order to leave the professional (in this case us coaches) to do our job and try to do the best possible with our resources.

This is one case of parents trying to “coach” the kids from the side line, other big problem is when parents start to insult referees after what they consider a bad decision, and give the worse example possible to their kids, but as I said, this is something else than the topic of this post and probably requires a deeper thoughts about what should or should not be done.


To finish this, it could be interesting to know more about your experiences in lower division clubs (where all of us have started) and what you think are the best ways to deal with this problem.







2 thoughts on “LET ME PLAY!!!

  1. I’d like to reccomend Jim White’s book “You’ll Win Nothing With Kids” for a fun perspective on the life of a youth team coach. Here’s a review: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/youll-win-nothing-with-kids-by-jim-white-464781.html

    “On Sunday mornings Jim White has the following choice: visit the supermarket, buy trellising at B’n’Q, or stand on the sidelines of a muddy municipal football pitch, his trouser cuffs wetter than a weekend in Llandudno, shoulder-to-shoulder with a motley crew of mums, dads, step-parents and same-sex life partners all screaming at their beleaguered offspring. You’ll find Jim in the same place every week, failing to organise a bunch of lads into something resembling a team while on the far side of the park his opposite number, a wannabe Mourinho in brashly monogrammed tracksuit, struts the sidelines, shouting – always shouting.”

    I don’t remember if he comes up with any good solutions, but I’m sure it’ll make for a great read during the off-season.

    Liked by 1 person

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