Adults Bad Behaviour Could Ruin Youth Level Grass Roots Football

4000 Misconduct offences have been committed by Parents at youth football games in the last two years

4000 Misconduct offences have been committed by Parents at youth football games in the last two years

Since August 2012 there have been nearly 4000 misconduct offences by parents at children’s football matches. This is the first time the FA have quantified the scale of the problem and the results are scary. It just demonstrates how results driven parents are, and how little importance a large minority of parents place on development. Parents shouting at each other and referees is unacceptable and without doubt has a detrimental effect on the children and it could well be the professional game is to blame. Parents and children are so used to copying what they see on the television.

“I know a game last year that was stopped for five minutes, while two parents were separated on the sidelines. That was an under-13’s game,” said Mike Bacon a youth football coach in Suffolk. He went on to say that,”If parents don’t get it, particularly at a younger age, perhaps we should get to the stage where they drop their children off or take them to the game but don’t watch.” The response of the FA has been to create new awareness courses for club officials who have been found guilty of a misconduct charge…

Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Last month former England striker Gary Lineker said he believed that “pushy parents are damaging England’s chances of developing top-class players.” He went on to call for a ‘parental cultural revolution.’  The Match of the Day host is certainly on the right lines. At FootieBugs we believe that the parents need coaching just like their children.

Youth coach Mike Bacon’s suggestion of parents dropping their children off and leaving is only right if we give up on expecting parents to behave better. FootieBugs actively encourage the parents of their children to stay. FootieBugs works with children from age 3-9, they constantly work with the ball and go on wild adventures, using their imagination all through the medium of football. Parents are then actively encouraged, to support all the children and even take place in the team high-five at the end. The parents love it.

It will be a sad case of affairs if we have to ban parents from watching their children. Surely the way forward is for organisations such as FootieBugs to take the initiative and work with parents, from when their children are young. From then on, as the child works their way through the age groups and games become more competitive and results matter more, at least the parents will been coached on how to cope with the stress.

Courses for those who have already offended are all well and good, but could also appear to be a punishment. By working properly with parents we can teach them to embrace the right etiquettes. That is the way the forward.


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