The youth soccer coach arrives before the game with the lineup already written out. Expected substitutions are also entered, along with the time each sub is to enter the field. The youth soccer coach carries an equipment bag with first aid supplies, athletic tape, pump, and extra shin-guards in case someone forgot theirs. But this youth soccer coach is not prepared for what will happen in this game.
This youth soccer coach believes in developing the players, not in winning despite the cost. This youth soccer coach believes it is the youth soccer coaches job to model sportsmanship and encourage fair but aggressive play. This youth soccer coach believes that referees, good or bad, are part of the game, and should not be yelled at. But because this youth soccer coach is not prepared, this youth soccer coach will go against all of those beliefs in this game.
In this game, the opponents are behaving like thugs. They are beating us up out there! This isn't soccer! AND THEY'RE CHEATING! THEIR PLAYER THAT SCORED THE GOAL WAS OFF SIDE! THEY TOOK OUR STRIKER OUT! AND DENIED AN OBVIOUS GOAL SCORING OPPORTUNITY IN THE PROCESS! A YELLOW CARD! THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A RED! THIS REFEREE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING! AND YOU! NUMBER17! YOU BETTER START PLAYING RIGHT! WE CAN PLAY THAT WAY TOO!
So the youth soccer coach, who thought he was ready for this game, finds out he wasn't. He had a plan for almost everything, except for what to do when he felt the game was getting out of hand. Certainly losing control of his own emotions did not help his players who had to play out on the field. But it did do one thing. It gave everybody else; the players, the parents and the opponents, tacit permission to act the same way.
Youth soccer coaches need to be prepared. This preparation has to extend past dealing with the off side trap or having band aids for cuts and scrapes. The youth soccer coach has to be ready for games where his players are getting mugged and the referee is seemingly oblivious to what is happening. Like it or not, these games happen. If the youth soccer coach is under control, that goes a long way in keeping his team and sideline under control. If the youth soccer coach is not in control, anything can (and will) happen.
Its difficult to remain calm if the players are getting hurt. But if the opponents are trying to hurt your players, the opposing youth soccer coach is a lunatic and the referee is incompetent, there are ways to make your concerns known after the game. During the game, the youth soccer coach has to be ready to remain composed and require his team to be the same. Because the alternative is to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.