On the eve of a soccer tournament in Cincinnati, it dawned on me that I’ve never written a How to be a Decent Human Being as a Soccer Mom or Dad. I’ve written How to be a Decent Human Being in the Restroom, Texting and at Work (to name a few) but never on this.
I’ll be the first one to admit that as a reluctant soccer mom (I hate the stigma attached to being a soccer mom), the passion of competition has caused me to act inappropriately a few times; and we aren’t even playing Monopoly. I’ve watched my husband, friends and even my mother-in-law be threatened with removal from soccer games. Though I’m not quite there on that level (and it’s partly because I don’t know what’s going on half the time to speak intelligibly about the soccer game), it’s bound to happen at some point.
So I would like to point out a few things that as a soccer parent, you should resist doing. Some of these are going to feel like common sense, maybe a few won’t.
If you are the parent of the opposing team, do not, under any circumstance, sit on our side of the field. This is on par with choosing a bathroom stall right next to a person when there are 15 empty ones.
Insulting the Players
When I see a kid act like an ass hole to my child or any of the kids on my sons’ teams, I want to take the little shit by the collar and have a stern talk behind the bleachers. That being said, I bite my tongue. As an adult, don’t bully the kids. If the kid is wearing a man bun, don’t make fun of it. Every fiber of my being wants to say rude things to some of these kids but I keep my mouth shut.
Calling the Referee Names
This is probably the hardest rule for me to adhere to. I know little to nothing about soccer but I can tell when a referee is clearly siding with the other team or isn’t doing his job. For all the soccer tournaments I’ve attended, never once, did I see a call reversed because you told the ref he’s a stupid head.
Yelling Things Over to the Parents of the Opposing Team
I’m rolling my eyes as I type this as it’s childish and immature. How can grown-ass adults find it acceptable to name call or insult the opposing teams’ parents? Again, there have been times I’ve wanted to say things but I’ve kept my mouth shut. Actually, I’m usually the one with the camera rolling, attempting to get another YouTube Episode of Parents Behaving Badly. Check out that video. It’s pretty damn funny and actually happened.
Quit Screamin’ at Your Kid During the Game
No level of insults slung at your kid will make him or her play better. You may think negative thoughts about your kid’s performance but under no circumstance should it come out of your mouth. This is why we have something called an inside voice. You’re annoying your kid and you’re annoying me, so just stop.
Stop Telling Your Kid Everything You Think They Did Wrong
When I hear parents get on their kids for this or that, you know what I want to say? “Ok fat ass, why don’t you throw on some cleats and play against your kid. Since everything they did was wrong and you’re such a soccer boss, why don’t you try running for an hour.” Lay off your kid dude. This isn’t life or death.
Your Kid is Not the Buddha of Soccer
He may look like Buddha but he isn’t the Buddha of soccer. It’s one thing to be proud of your kid but when you write a 1,000 worded Facebook post about your kid’s soccer skills, don’t question why you receive one like, and that’s from your mother. We don’t care nor understand what you’re talking about.
Don’t Yell at the Coach
God bless youth soccer coaches. Not only do they have to coach your kid but have to put up with toddler-like behavior from the parents. If your kid didn’t make a certain level team, that’s life. It sucks but shit happens. Thousands of lesser qualified people are hired over the right candidate. You don’t see the right candidate, crying like a little bitch to the company that didn’t hire them. Put on your big boy or girl pants and move on. If your kid sees you trying to bribe a club or question the selection process, what will they be like as adults? Nightmares, they’ll be absolute nightmares.
So what did I miss? I would love for you to tell me in the comments. What sports do your kids currently play or did play? Do you see this behavior in other sports? Let me know!