January 5, 2013
Are You a Crazy Soccer Parent? Take a Quiz..by Edwin Torres
Something happens to parents when they sit on the sidelines to watch their children play soccer. I have often witnessed inappropriate behavior from the sidelines. Here is a little quiz to determine what kind of soccer parent you are. There are ten questions. Answer each question as honestly as possible. Total up your points and check your score below. The result may surprise you.
Question 1: Can you sit through an entire soccer game silently? Yes - 0 points, No - 1 point
Do you watch your child's soccer game like it's the World Cup?
Try this experiment at your child's next game. See if you can sit through the entire game without saying a word.
Question 2: Have you ever yelled at a referee? Yes - 2 points, No - 0 points
Some parents think they know more than referees. They constantly disagree and yell at them. Keep in mind that referees are trained to know the rules.
Question 3: Have you ever yelled at your child? Yes - 3 points, No - 0 points
Soccer is a game. Yelling at your child during a game is unacceptable. Do you yell at your child when their playing a board game at home? Stop ruining the game for them.
Question 4: Have you ever yelled at another player? Yes - 3 points, No - 0 points
Some parents get so involved in a soccer game that they yell at other players. I have seen this happen even at the preschool age. You can imagine what a preschooler feels when a random adult yells at them.
Question 5: Have you ever yelled at another parent? Yes - 2 points, No - 0 points
I have witnessed many games where parents yell at each other during a game. Sometimes confrontations occur. This is not how adults should be acting at a youth soccer game. This is not the example parents should be setting.
Question 6: Have you ever confronted a coach? Yes - 2 points, No - 0 points
Have you ever had an argument or confrontation with your coach or an opposing coach? Do you think you know more than they do? Most coaches are parents who volunteer their time to teach kids. They also receive training on the rules and how to effectively train kids in soccer. Let the coaches do their job.
Question 7: Have you ever been asked to leave the field? Yes - 3 points, No - 0 points
If you have ever been ejected from a youth soccer game, you need to rethink your behavior. You are embarrassing not only yourself, but also your child.
Question 8: Do you think the result of a youth soccer game is important? Yes - 1 point, No - 0 Points
We all know that the point of soccer is to win the game. But there really is more to it than winning. Every game has a winner and loser. Don't forget that valuable lessons can be learned even from a loss.
Question 9: Have you played for more than one travel soccer team? Yes - 1 point, No - 0 points
I have seen players move from team to team, trying to find the right fit. Frequently, it is the parents who think they're doing the right thing by moving. Some parents think they know more than the coach, so they leave. As a coach, I see a red flag when a player/parent can't seem to fit in anywhere.
Question 10: Has a referee stopped a game to warn you to be quiet? Yes - 2 points, No - 0 points
If a referee is warning you to be quiet, your behavior is unacceptable. You are just a spectator. Don't engage the referee. Just watch the game.
What kind of parent are you? Total up your points and check your score below.
Moderately involved (0 - 4 points) - Congratulations! There is hope for you. Tweak your behavior a little bit and your child will have the best soccer experience.
Borderline (5 - 10 points) - You have some work to do. Recognize your faults on the field and correct them now.
Crazy (11 - 15 points) - You have already exhibited unacceptable behavior. You have turned a positive sport into a negative experience for your child.
Lunatic (16 - 20 points) - You need help. Your behavior is clearly unacceptable and you may not even realize it. You are missing the point about youth sports. Unless you change your attitude and behavior, you will continue to ruin their childhood experiences.
Edwin Torres has been coaching youth soccer since 2001. He is currently the head coach of two travel soccer teams in Freehold, NJ. He holds a category "F" license for coaching in the New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association. He was a certified USSF Grade 8 referee in 2004. Edwin is also certified as a Double-Goal coach through the Positive Coaching Alliance.