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2 soccer questions: trash talk and coach behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 7-year-old DS plays soccer, and a couple of situations happened today that I have questions about:

 

1) There was a boy on the other team who was doing lots of trash talking -- saying things like, "You guys suck, we're totally going to beat you" and, "Haha, it's already 2 to nothing, I told you we'd win!" in a really nasty tone. I know some amount of trash talk just goes along with team sports, but at 7 years old, really? The boy's position happened to be close to where I was sitting, so I heard what he was saying but it didn't appear that either coach heard anything. Do you guys experience this, and how do you handle it? 

 

2) DS's coach isn't the greatest. He's not awful, but he's not a very good communicator so the boys are often confused during practice and the coach gets annoyed when they don't understand the plays (I don't even understand the plays -- the way he coaches is very confusing and I usually can't tell what it is he's wanting the boys to do). He doesn't say anything mean, but he often says (in an exasperated voice) stuff like, "Johnny, you should be in the middle like we practice every week" or, "Take a shot!" [boy misses] "...orrrrr you could just miss completely." So, yeah. Not screaming in their faces or calling them names or anything, but just not really nice, you know? Am I being too sensitive about that kind of stuff? He's volunteering (which I really appreciate), and it's his first time, and I'm sure it's really hard, so I'm trying to cut him some slack. 

post #2 of 6
My dh has coached soccer for years. Thank you for understanding that the coach is a volunteer and doing the best he can. For the first problem of the trash talking I would not put up with that at all. Our league is very serious about good sportsmanship . If you hear a kid talking like that I would go tell your coach and he should privately either bring it to the attention of the ref or other coach. With the coaches lack of communication I would let that go unless it's really bothering you ds. Learning to coach is just like anything else you do , it takes time to figure it out and lots of practice. If this is his first year he's still trying to figure out how to work with the kids. If the coach starts getting complaint from parents he probably will not volunteer to do it again.
post #3 of 6

1) Talk to the coach or ref if there is one present.

2) Offer to help the coach. You could run drills with half the team during practice or similar. Also talk to your child and help him translate what the coach is saying.

 

If it doesn't resolve this season, request a different coach next season.

post #4 of 6

My son is older (12) and plays competitive soccer, so this does happen, and the boys have learned to just "play their game" and not take much notice of it. Obviously at seven this is not acceptable. Does your DS's games have a ref, or do the coaches "ref" the game? If there is a ref, then your DS's coach should have a word with the ref about the "unsportsman-like behavior of the other team. It is not the parents place to say anything to the ref, coach, or child. I would just tell my DS to ignore it, and play and have fun.

 

Unfortunately, there are many, many bad coaches in soccer that do not know what they are doing, volunteer or not. From what you are writing your son's coach is one of them. At 7, boys should not be taught, "plays", that is a total red flag that the guy knows very little about soccer. Seven year olds should above all be having fun and they should be being taught technical soccer skills. Tactics shouldn't be part of their training until they are a older, most soccer academies don't introduce this until around 12 years old. If I were you, I would find another team and another coach, one that understands the game and how it should be taught in the early years. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the replies. You guys seem to feel pretty similarly to how I do about these situations -- that the trash-talking is the more serious issue, and to pretty much let the coach work out the kinks in coaching style for himself. The boys are having a great time and are a really sweet, goofy team, so their experience is just fine -- I'm willing to just let the coach's comments go. 

 

AngieB -- good for your DH for coaching! I'm sure it's a thankless job, and I'm sure some of the parents are awful to deal with. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to do it, so I'm very thankful that there are people willing to do so, and I'm sure the learning curve is really steep and difficult. 

 

pbjmama -- good, proactive suggestion about helping. I definitely don't want to be one of those parents who disparages the coach while just sitting on the sidelines rather than getting up and pitching in. I know zero about soccer, but I'd be willing to run a drill if he could tell me what to do -- in fact, last week one of the other moms did just that and did awesome -- her communication and correction style was fantastic, so maybe I'll approach her and see if I can help her run the drills or something next week. 

 

Mirzam -- when you say "It is not the parents place to say anything to the ref, coach, or child," do you mean it's not even my place to bring the unsportsmanlike conduct to my son's coach's attention? He didn't hear the comments, so I had toyed with the idea of just asking him to keep an ear out for #4 on the other team -- would that have been wrong? I would never say anything directly to the child, the ref, the other team's coach, or the parents of the trash-talker, but I thought it'd be okay to privately approach my own son's coach about it. 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 

 

Mirzam -- when you say "It is not the parents place to say anything to the ref, coach, or child," do you mean it's not even my place to bring the unsportsmanlike conduct to my son's coach's attention? He didn't hear the comments, so I had toyed with the idea of just asking him to keep an ear out for #4 on the other team -- would that have been wrong? I would never say anything directly to the child, the ref, the other team's coach, or the parents of the trash-talker, but I thought it'd be okay to privately approach my own son's coach about it. 

Well, in my son's team, the parents are not allowed to get involved period. We even have to wait 24 hours after a match before contacting the team's coach about any aspect of a game. Now, to put it perspective, my son plays on the top youth team (in his age) for an MLS club and they boys are much older. I did mean, the opposing team's coach. Pointing it out to your DS's coach is at U8 is probably fine. It was quite possible your DS's coach heard it, if the boy was loud and the coach was on the sidelines coaching the game. 


Edited by Mirzam - 9/26/12 at 2:36pm
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