So you’re a fan of the game of soccer. That’s great, we need people who are passionate about the sport, and want to help it grow. However, just because you are a fan of the game doesn’t mean that you get to act however you please. Just because you want your team to win, and want to help them to achieve this goal, doesn’t give you the right to do anything in your power to try and help them. Yelling at the referees, opposing players, or even members of the team that you support because you feel that they are not playing well enough in your opinion, is not positive fan behavior. This is especially true if you’re a parent of a player, as you are expected to be a positive role model, and a positive influence on the game. You need to be supportive, not negative. Don’t focus on tearing down your opponents, but rather focus on building up the team that you support and that you want to do well. If you are a parent of a player remember the coach has your child’s best interest at heart to. If you’re not a parent, remember that the player you are harassing is somebody else’s kid. Be cognizant that if you are yelling, and acting in negative manner, would you really want to have that behavior mimicked by your kids or by other young children? Screaming at the other team isn’t it going to help your team win, and if anything, it just makes you look bad.
While traditionally coaches of teams don’t have many issues with their opposing counterparts, or the players on the other team, issues can still occasionally occur that can lead to potentially negative situations. With that in mind it is important to remain respectful when dealing with coaches and members of another team. Sometimes you might not like the opposing coach or the other team, and whether or not you win or lose, you might want to just yell at them because it makes you feel better. Coaches are human being too, and as a coach you can sometimes get riled up by the opponents. However, remember that when you have a negative interaction with another coach or player on another team, you are essentially telling your players that it’s ok to act in this manner, and that these types of behaviors are normal and acceptable. Sometimes you need to be the bigger person, and to remember you’re the role model and often the face of your team. Team’s and players often take on the identify and values of their coach, and how you act on the field will often dictate how your players act on the field. If the coach or a player of an opposing team is crossing the line, use it as a learning experience for your players, and explain to them why those actions are not appropriate. Turn a negative into a positive by teaching your players how they should be acting.