As a team member, you play a special role in contributing to the needs and development of youngsters. Through your encouragement and good example, you can help all the boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and self-discipline. In AYSO, young people learn to work together, to sacrifice for the good of the team, to enjoy winning and deal appropriately with defeat - all while becoming physically fit and healthy. Best of all, they have fun.
Supporting your child by giving encouragement and showing interest in their/your team is very important. Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than victory - that way your child will always be a winner despite the outcome of the game!
Parents serve as role models for their children. Be aware of this fact and work to be a positive role model. Applaud good plays by your team as well as good plays by the opposing team. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sports.
Remember that your child is the one playing soccer, not you. It's very important to let children establish their own goals - to play the game for themselves. Take care not to impose your own standards and goals on them. Don't put too heavy a burden on your child to win games. Surveys reveal that 72% of children would rather play for a losing team than ride the bench for a winning team. Children play for the fun of playing.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your child achieve their goals and overcome their natural fear of failure. Nobody likes to make mistakes. If your child does make one, remember it's all part of learning, so encourage your child's efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.
AYSO coaches and referees are usually parents just like you. They volunteer their time to help make your child's soccer experience a positive one. They need your support, too. That means refrain from coaching or refereeing from the sidelines. In a volunteer organization like AYSO there's always an opportunity to take your interest in coaching or refereeing to the next level and become one yourself!
AYSO has always encouraged good sportsmanship in its programs. In fact, "Good Sportsmanship" is one of the philosophies listed in the AYSO National Bylaws. AYSO strongly recommends that its individual teams promote good sportsmanship through dynamic instruction.
We figure that if players, volunteers and parents understand what is expected of them when it comes to good sportsmanship, that’s probably how they will act. AYSO is proud of its many good sports, but understands that good sportsmanship doesn’t just happen. It needs to be taught, encouraged and demonstrated.
Any serious misconduct by a parent or any volunteer must immediately be reported to the Child & Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA).