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Sideline for Soccer Parents
While enthusiasm and cheering can be inspiring, and it is natural to get caught up in the emotion of the game, soccer parents should take care to follow proper sideline etiquette.


  • STEP 1: Cheer, don't coach. Avoid yelling specific instructions and issuing commands. This can be extremely confusing for a child and possibly contrary to the coach's instructions.
  • STEP 2: Avoid running up and down the sidelines shouting. If you want to follow the action, make sure that you don't distract the players or block the view of other spectators.
  • STEP 3: Keep some comments to yourself. Do not speak out to the referee or linesmen. Unless they are complimentary, do not direct comments to members of the opposition.
  • STEP 4: Stay away from the goals. In many youth leagues, standing behind the goal is prohibited.
  • STEP 5: Stand, or sit, at least 3 to 5 yards back from the sidelines (touchlines). Again, this is a rule in many youth leagues.
  • STEP 6: Demonstrate good sportsmanship by applauding exceptional moves by the opposition.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice silence. Sometimes it is more relaxing for both parents and players, and you will likely view the game differently as well.
  • Ask your children if they like you to cheer. The answer may surprise you.
  • Be positive, never negative. If a child loses the ball, for example, "Way to hustle," is much better than "You can get that ball."