Guide for parents
Runaway Bay Soccer Club is a vehicle through which children and teenagers in our community have opportunity to learn to play and enjoy soccer. It is not the club’s intention to develop players to play as professionals. The emphasis is to provide all comers with an opportunity to learn to love the game as a satisfying sporting experience.
However, the club also aims to provide opportunity for those with talent to move on to higher levels of the game through our Women’s and Men’s Senior Teams and, of course, representative teams. Given this emphasis, the club’s policies of ensuring that all are treated equally in playing time and in the presentation of trophies are a bedrock of the environment we seek to foster.
How can you help the soccer club?
It is easy to say that you should set a good example. Who are we to tell you this? You already know that your children need good role models. The problem for children in all sports is – there are times when we get carried away by our emotions and unfortunately by our mouths. We’ve all been there and done that from time to time. Self control and the right support at the right time is the base on which we can set a good example. There is a simple maxim that is worth remembering:
“They play, I coach, you cheer.”
It says it all. Let them play and leave it to the coach to give instruction. All you need to do is cheer. After all it is their playtime.
There is a view that as a society we have become too politically correct and that our freedom to voice opinions is being curtailed. That may or may not be true but arguing or trading insults during children’s games is not the kind of environment that fosters enjoyment or benefit to anyone. It follows that when referees, coaches and players make mistakes, as they surely will, we should control our emotions for the sake of all the children for whom we are role models.
Cheer the team, not just your child, and applaud the efforts of opponents without whom there would be no contest. Thank the match officials. Without them there would be no game.
The right kind of support
As a club that is now over thirty years old, we are proud of our achievements and the facilities that are now available. We are grateful for the hard work of parents and the support of sponsors who have gone before us. As beneficiaries of that work we have a responsibility to ensure that the club’s assets will continue to be of benefit to those who come after us. The club’s reputation for good conduct and sportsmanship is a major asset and must be guarded jealously.
It may be that your child will become a highly paid soccer star, if not, one thing is certain – they will become an adult! Through our sport your child can learn to be a team player; develop relationship skills and wider friendships; improve motor skills; visualisation and problem solving abilities; experience the joy of winning and learn to deal with the pain of losing. In short, an environment in which all manner of life skills will be presented through the medium of the club and its soccer teams. Every word and action is capable of leaving a lasting impression on the child. The soccer team is a vehicle for more important things than arguments about whether the referee was wrong with the offside call. So why argue? If you are unsure of what the right kind of support should be we hope that this list of do’s and don’ts will be of help.
Soccer club training information
- Training is compulsory. It is not optional.
- Be punctual when arriving with your child for training.
- Ensure they are properly dressed for play in boots and shin guards.
- Appropriate clothing for hot or cold weather should be worn and should be clearly labeled with their name.
- They bring a water bottle to ensure hydration.
Learn more about before the game
- Learn about appropriate foods for meals before play. Pasta is an excellent choice. Make sure they eat a wholesome breakfast if they have a morning game.
- Get them into the habits of drinking lots of water in the hours before the game.
- Make your child responsible for packing and cleaning their playing kit.
- Away games are an adventure for the small child. Show them the route map and make the journey part of the experience.
- Talk about soccer on the way to the field.
- Be positive about the Coach, Manager and other players in the team.
Learn more about during the game
- Try not to tell them what to do when they have the ball. You may be surprised at their capability.
- Don’t yell their name incessantly. It embarrasses the child and suggest you are not watching the whole game.
- Make a mental note of any good plays by your child. Save them for the journey home.
- Do not dispute any decisions by the referees.
- Do not respond to any adverse comments by others.
Learn more about after the game
- Greet your child with a big smile, whatever the result of the game
- Before you leave, check you and your child had have all the property and clothing you bought with you.
- Acknowledge defeats as unfortunate but move on quickly to those mental notes of your child’s good plays. Deflect and diffuse any criticism of other players if mentioned by your child. Change the subject from soccer to the rest of the day’s activities as soon as possible, especially after a loss.
- Require your child to clean his or her soccer boots when you arrive home – they will last longer and help them to develop personal responsibility.
- Your child is building his bank of childhood memories. You may think it worth keeping a record book for the future of games played, goals scored, etc.
- If your team is entered in an all day carnival during which results are recorded, do not place greater emphasis on the importance of the day, or the results of the games.
- Stay with your usual routine based on your approach to everyday games.
- Be extra careful with nutrition and hydration. It is important to drink plenty of water in the hours before the day since your child will play several games in a short space of time.
- The emotions of spectators will be higher than usual. Be careful not to become involved in any disputes.
Divisional games and finals
- Results of all divisional games (Under 11 and above) are recorded to decide Gold Coast Soccer champions and runners up. Emotions run high at times and cheers and groans are a natural outcome. Audible criticism of players or officials is not acceptable and against our Code of Conduct. In any sense they are an incitement to others, including impressionable young players. The club does not accept this kind of behavior.
- Whilst we find it easy to ask for three cheers for opponents, it is reasonable to suggest that we make a point of thanking the referee and assistants at the end of each game.
Discipline in the game
- Team coaches are asked to set behavior boundaries for their players. As a general rule we use “time out” to discipline players at training sessions. If any incident occurs between your child and his coach that you are not happy with, we ask that you try to resolve it together in an adult manner away from the players. If this fails you should report the matter as soon as possible to a Committee Representative. The club has adopted a Disciplinary Committee to deal with any issues.
- Try not to discipline your child be keeping them away from soccer. You may be inconveniencing the team.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the above information or have any improvement suggestions, please feel free to speak to a Committee Member.