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Blaze Premier Soccer Club:Parent/Fan Conduct  
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Blaze Premier Soccer Club
Tami Meyer
3724 Hillcrest Dr
Boise, Idaho
  Parent/Fan Conduct  

Saturday, March 9
Instruction from the Sidelines
Net Effect on Players of Instruction from the Sidelines - by Ric Granryd, Director of Coaching, AUSC

Technical/tactical shouts from the coach and/or spectator on the sideline such as: "Send it!" “Get it outta there!" "Up the line!" "Johnny, get back!" "Sarah’s open outside, pass it!" etc. can have a detrimental effect on players’ performance:   

1. Soccer is played most effectively when the player is capable of making decisions in a split-second and/or by instinct. Soccer is different from other sports - movements during play are rarely scripted. Soccer players can be thought of as "audibling” (changing the play at the line of scrimmage in football) all game long! Hence, players must be given the opportunity to make decisions on their own, right or wrong.

2. Each "answer" provided from the sideline is a learning opportunity lost. The player’s decision-making process is colored by those comments, and the player becomes inhibited in deciding on his own the best course of action. In the long run, he never gains the level of confidence that he could if he had to make those decisions by himself. Further, the player will often make a poor play because the conflict between what she thinks and what she hears being yelled causes her to become confused or hesitate for a split second.

3. Technical/tactical shouts from the spectators often contradict what the coach has asked the player/team to attempt. Can you imagine yelling to your son, who is a wide receiver on the football team, to run inside when the play calls for a hook pattern outside? This happens with regularity in soccer. Imagine the conflict inside a player’s head when he knows the coach wants the player to play a back pass to retain possession and he hears parents screaming, "Send it!!!" from the sideline.

4. The younger the player (U14 and younger), the more decision-making guidance is required. The best person to provide this guidance is the coach. Ideally, decision-making education occurs during training, but our players train only in practice; most do not play pickup games on their own. So, the game becomes a training situation. The guidance provided during games should be scaled down and the players allowed to implement what they’ve learned.

Maximum enjoyment of the game comes from possessing the confidence to make decisions independently and having the technique to execute those decisions. Parents, help your child move toward this level of enjoyment and competence by limiting your shouts to those of a motivating nature.

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