A game for your players’ parents!

If you want success as a coach you have to make sure all the parts go together. One of the most important parts is your parents. They have the ability to make or break your season. You not only need them on your side, you need them to support and help your players at the side of the pitch.

One of the ways I do this is to get them on the pitch and get your players on the side and play a game with your players shouting at their parents. It’s a good bonding exercise and a good way to show parents how they must be positive not negative towards the players.

Call a meeting of your players’ parents and tell them to bring their trainers. Start by laying down the laws for behaviour at matches – this is one of the most important things you will do. Parents like discipline and guidance.

End the meeting by making the parents play a short match.

Tell the parents to sort themselves into two teams and get your players to stand on the sideline and scream and shout at them like parents do at matches. The children will love doing this.

Get them to play a short game – 5 minutes each way – with the children shouting from the sidelines.

Add some confusion yourself by shouting “CLEAR IT” or “SHOOT!”

After the game ask them what they could hear from the sidelines. Most will say “it was too difficult to listen when I was trying to concentrate”. Then ask them what they think their own children hear. They should see that reacting to situations is hard enough without being shouted at.

For the parents who did hear what was said – often what you the coach shouted – ask them if this instruction or direction helped them.

The only thing that yelling directions or instructions to a player accomplishes is to distract them from their focus.

By showing the grown ups how it feels to be a player they should realise that shouting at them is not a positive thing. Some parents will still yell their heads off, but they have been taught a lesson in using positive language and the majority will do so.