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Montgomery County Soccer Association

MCSA Parent Guidelines


1. The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game. 

2. Children copy what we do, not what we say… and they are always watching. If you verbally encourage fair play but angrily scream your head off on the sideline, which lesson do you think your child learns?

3. When you model inappropriate dissent with the coach or referee the life lesson your child learns is disrespect for authority. There are appropriate channels through which to discuss differences of opinion.

4. Your child's performance on the soccer field does not reflect on your parenting abilities, how much you love your child, your own sports ability or many other items too numerous to list.

5. If your child enjoys soccer but doesn't seem to keep up, don't just yell, get out in the yard and practice, send the child to a camp, etc. There are healthy ways to help them improve without being negative on the sidelines.

6. Don't force your child to play. However once he or she has joined the team it is only proper to see it through to the end.

7. During matches find ways to help them feel successful, whether winning or losing. Personal growth is more important to the child than winning anyway. Healthy encouragement for your child to seek excellence is a worthy goal, but clearly different from the "win at all cost" mentality that infects much of sports today.

8. Don't coach from the sideline; it confuses the child. If you have something to contribute, help out at practice, not the match. If you yell excitedly every time a child boots the ball downfield you may be encouraging poor habits. Gaining comfort on the ball and making meaningful passes is far more effective than kick and chase soccer.

9. Before the match your comments should be limited to, "I love you", "Do your best", and "Have fun". After the match your comments should be limited to, "I love you", "I enjoyed watching you play" and "What do you want for a snack." Match analysis following a game too easily becomes a criticism, which the child views as "I'm not good enough", rather than the "loving help" the parent feels they are providing. There will be plenty of time to analyze the game later.

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