Why sideline coaching is bad for all

It’s great to have fans in the stands, but not when they begin offering unsolicited coaching advice. Parents understandably want their children to do well and have fun. Unfortunately, parents can be extremely competitive and they do their child and the coach a disservice by inserting their views during a game.

Children have coaches for a reason and youngsters are required to listen to their coach whether it’s a simple practice session or a championship game. Yelling instructions or criticizing calls from the sidelines is disrespectful to the coach, referees, and the children. Hearing their parents from the stands can be extremely confusing, especially for younger players, and parental advice often represents wrong information.

Sideline coaching also sets a bad example for youngsters, places additional pressure on players, and makes the game less enjoyable for them. The experience for a child when parents yell directions from the sidelines is similar to what that same parent would encounter if their boss stopped by several times each day to tell them how to do their job.

Parents need to understand that a referee won’t change their call because the parent doesn’t agree with it. Whatever parents do, they should never denigrate the other team or its players. They wouldn’t want the opposing team’s cheering section to do it to their children.

Parents across the nation are becoming more unruly and unpleasant at matches and it’s unacceptable. They’re feeding their own ego at the expense of their child and the youngster’s team. Children treated in this way will resent their parent, may lash out, and begin to exhibit poor sportsmanship.

A parent’s job is to support their child and provide encouragement – not try to usurp the authority of the coach or referee. Parents can cheer all they want and celebrate good plays. The keyword is positivity. Sideline coaching from parents is one of the most unproductive actions they can take and has the potential to discourage their child from further participation. The goal should be to uplift players at every opportunity.

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