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How do you control your emotions at your kids' football matches?

Christ, this is embarrassing.

Having long looked down my nose at the sort of parent who can't control themselves at their kids football matches I have now become one of them. If only I were joking.

I coach my eldest boys U-7 team and they only lost one game last season (won 20, drew 1) and this season had won, prior to tonight, 2 from 2.

Anyway, tonights game was against the team that they drew with last year, coached by a bloke from Rotherham (we live in Brisbane) and they are a pretty good side, although its only 4-a-side.

Well, tonight's game was a ripper, really close and we were 3-1 down and playing crap before my son, Sam, really put his Mark Kinsella "Captain Fantastic" boots on and scored three in the second half and we ended up winning 5-4.

Problem was that when the other lot were winning that their supporters were really, and I mean really, giving it the large and putting pressure on the referee and really going over the top in their goal celebrations and creating a pretty intense atmosphere and rubbing our noses in it as everyone at the club knows our team is very strong.

So, in the second half, and bearing in mind I am 6' 1" and about 17 stone I started giving some back to the worst of their supporters and at the final whistle gave the worst offender (who was bigger than me) a wink, blew him a kiss and, I am ashamed to say gave him the old "wanker" sign to let him know what I thought of him and his mates.

I am not proud of my conduct so really want to ask the Dad's on here who have more experience in coaching/watching their kids team than I do (this is only my second season) about how you control yourself at these games?

Its easy to take the moral high ground and say "Oh, its kids football, behave yourself," but when you are a parent then its very, very hard to see your kids play in that kind of atmosphere (and I love the other kids in the team, too) without reacting.

If anyone has any good advice or can share their own experiences in this regard that would be great.

Comments

  • edited March 2012
    What about the "don't embarrass me dad" factor?

    That normally acted as a pretty good brake for me getting too passionate.
  • This has been going on for years Orm and I am happy to report my son lost interest in football fairly quickly for his love of motor sport.

    Some of the things I witnessed on the touch line and after his games were cringe worthy and I believe its one of the reasons our national game is in the state its in.

    All the parents including the women think they manage the team and spend the entire game barking out orders, no wonder the kids get confused.
  • Ormiston I know how you feel fella!!

    My Boy trains with Chelsea on a Monday Charlton on a Wednesday Arsenal on a Thursday Arsenal or Charlton on a Friday Trains with his team AFC All Stars on a Saturday then plays for them on a Sunday!! Sometims I have to bite my lip and walk away!!

    I have nearly had a few scraps but been pulled back by the other half!

    We have played a team a few times and they are full of gypsies so you can imagine what those games were like? We were getting cut throat signs and shouts of "Break the Cu**s legs as my son went through them" Nice eh?
  • 3-1 down and your son steps up with a hat-trick after the other supporters had been giving it! No wonder you did what you did, you've got nothing to be ashamed of. Raw emotion taking over.

    I marched onto the pitch during a school match when my son got kicked in the face, claret everywhere and the ref awarded a penalty against him. Out of view/earshot of the boys on the pitch, I told the ref that he was lucky there were kids around otherwise.......controlled myself to a certain degree but was effing fuming and wanted to wait for the ref after the game. If it had been any other kid, I wouldn't have been affected like that but when it's your son, things change.

  • My boy plays for his local team in the Under 13's at Hayden Youth.

    Fantastic club, supporters, Parents etc and they have come from bottom to 2 points behind the leaders in a flash and fancy they will win the league and get promoted to the A league.

    I have taken my boy to football practice/matches since he was 7 and it's a fantastic thing for a parent (Dad) to watch your son playing no matter what the score.

    Unfortunately, there are some of the other clubs that I have witnessed over the years, whose parents/supporters turn up more as managers/know alls.

    Now....... any person that manages a team...... whatever the age, I applaud. Having acquired the FA1 (Dads Badge) some time back, I have stood in on a few occasions and merely tried to motivate and inspire the team to do better, however being a full time manager even for a local youth team, consumes most of your time and energy. This again I applaud.

    I only witnessed a few weeks back a Dad (voluntarily) running the line, getting abuse from one of the opposing Parents and a fight ensuing. Shocking

    Not wishing ever to be a referee, I have yet to witness the 'one voice rule' at any match. The referee basically lets both team managers and parents know before the start of the match that the only voice of instruction should come from the managers themselves. Obviously motivation and shouts of support are accepted from all.

    In short.......it's a game. Moreover......a kid's game. As parents we should be there to motivate and support our youngsters which in turn demonstrates that we can be good role models as well.

    Managers and referee's alike should invoke the 'One voice rule' at the start of the match and let each side know that any unwelcome comments/references will result in the said perpatrator being asked to leave........simples.

    It's only a game

  • Surely you can just imagine that instead of you doing it to an opposition fan its your kid doing it to his mother? That you give you the boundaries.
  • This has been going on for years Orm and I am happy to report my son lost interest in football fairly quickly for his love of motor sport.

    Some of the things I witnessed on the touch line and after his games were cringe worthy and I believe its one of the reasons our national game is in the state its in.

    All the parents including the women think they manage the team and spend the entire game barking out orders, no wonder the kids get confused.
    same here, my son soon lost interest. He now does Fencing and loves it.
  • I ran a team from under 9s (youngest age at the time) up to 18s, you have to lead by example and let the kids enjoy their football. It changed alot over the years that I managed the team, with coaches wearing track suits with their initials on their chest like they were on match of the day. Coaches and parents shouting and screaming at the younger players dosen't help anybody all the kids want to do at that age is have fun. It has become a part of the game now where the followers on the touchline think they can give stick to a youngster that has missed a open goal, they are only kids. It is not about getting one over the oposing parents with abuse. Move your players around to find their best position (they all think they are strikers ) so you may not win all your games but seeing the kids enjoying their football should be enough for you at this age. As they get older, well thats a different matter.

  • same here, my son soon lost interest. He now does Fencing and loves it.
    Nice one, I need a couple of panels replaced in my back garden, could he give me a quote.... :-)
  • This has been going on for years Orm and I am happy to report my son lost interest in football fairly quickly for his love of motor sport.

    Some of the things I witnessed on the touch line and after his games were cringe worthy and I believe its one of the reasons our national game is in the state its in.

    All the parents including the women think they manage the team and spend the entire game barking out orders, no wonder the kids get confused.
    I was involved in motorsport up to the age of 23 or so and some of the 'parental involvement' there usually involves daddy's cheque book and can be just as annoying!
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  • same here, my son soon lost interest. He now does Fencing and loves it.
    Nice one, I need a couple of panels replaced in my back garden, could he give me a quote.... :-)
    Touche.
  • Went to watch my younger brother with my dad a few times, mainly to give him an elbow in the ribs if he got carried away! I have to admit to infiltrating the other lot on occassion and saying 'the ref got that right' if they thought otherwise and then sneaking away...
  • This must have rung bells for so many of us, reading your postings perhaps I am a Saint after all. Orm my best advice is to speak to the Manager, and ask him to have a word with the parents and then take responsibility for keeping them in order. You will never escape this but don't let it spoil the great enjoyment that the kids receive. I reported on another thread recently that I witnessed a whole team piling on to a Goalkeeper, a lad knocked unconcious and his dad given a huge black eye. On another occasion I was subjected, with all our parents,to a vitriolic and abusive ranting from the opposing manager. I contacted the Kent FA and would not let it go until he was fined £250 and warned about his future conduct. Stay cool and have right on your side.
  • 9 times out of 10 i let it all wash over me but if the lino for instance is blatantly cheating or hasn't got a clue, as manager, you have to act. Normally this will be to have a word with the opposing manager, or if that doesn't sort it, the ref. In doing so, it stops the parents from getting involved. Beyond that, you just have to rely on people to behave themselves. It's always the same characters who cause all the bother - those who can only see their own point of view or the petty minded. Generally new parents start off quiet, then get more and more involved until at about the 6 month point they are barking and confronting everything, then they take a look at themselves and calm back down. It's bloody funny to watch most of the time and then there's the over protective mums (and dads sometimes) and they are even funnier. It's all great entertainment and the really bad incidents are very few and far between in my experience
  • It's always the same characters who cause all the bother - those who can only see their own point of view or the petty minded. Generally new parents start off quiet, then get more and more involved until at about the 6 month point they are barking and confronting everything, then they take a look at themselves and calm back down. It's bloody funny to watch most of the time and then there's the over protective mums (and dads sometimes) and they are even funnier. It's all great entertainment and the really bad incidents are very few and far between in my experience
    I must admit this did sum up my experiences, especially the 12-16 age range.......
    I did find a big difference in the kent league, where both the parents and managers had respect for both the other side and most of the officials.
    Most clubs at junior level should be FA affiliated under there charter. This was coming in when I did my managing of Bexley league clubs. (Bexley, Kingfishers, Long lane).......
    My lad started at 'c' level and went on to play a level then Kent league. I only ever experienced bad parent behaviour as an exception, and for some reason in cup games.
    I really enjoyed my time as a manager at junior level, and perhaps that was why I was invited to run an adults reserve side of many of those players today.
    I have lost more games this year than we have won, but by and large the players and managers have been freindly.
    Perhaps they realise they are not going to be playing for Barcelona next week,

  • I think it is to do with the emotional turmoil Charlton are putting us through at the moment.Things that don't bother me normally are annoying me and twice this week I have had to walk away from things that wouldn't really bother me as I could feel the red mist coming.
  • edited March 2012
    I ran a team from under 9s (youngest age at the time) up to 18s, you have to lead by example and let the kids enjoy their football. It changed alot over the years that I managed the team, with coaches wearing track suits with their initials on their chest like they were on match of the day. Coaches and parents shouting and screaming at the younger players dosen't help anybody all the kids want to do at that age is have fun. It has become a part of the game now where the followers on the touchline think they can give stick to a youngster that has missed a open goal, they are only kids. It is not about getting one over the oposing parents with abuse. Move your players around to find their best position (they all think they are strikers ) so you may not win all your games but seeing the kids enjoying their football should be enough for you at this age. As they get older, well thats a different matter.
    That pretty much sums up how I feel. Very few players go on to be professionals so the key thing IMO is make sure that enjoyment and love for the game is uppermost. They tend to play better too when they go out with that attitude!
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