Eric Youngs Contact Lense
This is a subject close to my heart.. I was a spectating dad, who kept opinions (of which I had many having played/watched for so many years) to myself. I was happy to help out setting up goals, taking down nets and then would referee the odd game (This was U7 - U8). Then became an "assistant" coach to my older son's team, became a coach of my younger sons team when nobody was there to run it, up to U18 and am now Chair of the Club and coaching U5 - U7 ! It's interesting to see parents, mainly dads, watching their kids play. The vast majority are grateful for the time coaches/volunteers put in. Some cannot help but "coach" their son/daughter during training and matches. This normally comes from a good place but can be annoying, especially when it is contradictory to the things you are trying to coach. The fear that some parents have of their kids making a mistake, giving away a goal etc is so powerful. A lad playing defence is told to boot it, GK encouraged to kick long all the time, parents paying their kids a goal bonus! I actually believe that the tone and attitude of the coach is the one that sets the tone for the accompanying parents. A "chippy" coaching group tends to have "chippy" parents and that often makes for a more unpleasant atmosphere. I often found that those teams were also the most short-lived.. certainly they struggled when their teams started to struggle.