Parents Corner

Top Ten Parent Questions and Answers

This page will be used throughout the season to give our parents information that will help you better understand our Team Boca philosophy and create a more enjoyable experience for parents and players.

Q. What can you do as parents to support your child’s efforts?

A. Support, Support, and more Support.  Create a positive supportive environment and do not be critical of your child’s play, especially directly after a practice or game.  Leave the critiquing to their trainer and coach.  Do not make the worst 15 minutes of your child’s game day be their ride home from the game!

Q. What can you do as parents to support your coach?

A. It is extremely important that you support all your coach’s methods and decisions whether you agree with them or not.  A player develops best when they trust and respect their coach.  The coach’s job is to motivate, teach, and constructively critique each player’s performance.  It is crucial for the players to trust and relate to their coach as soon as possible regarding soccer issues.  This relationship between coach and player produces the best results.  When parents express opinions different from the coach it causes considerable confusion.  It is impossible as a parent to understand what motivation a coach may have for using a certain method, motivating a certain way, or even implementing disciplinary action, without having coaching experience and without being at each and every practice and game and seeing exactly what the coach has seen.  This will be more fully discussed in our group meeting.

Q. Are parents required to attend team practices?

A. No. You do not need to attend practice. You are welcome to leave your child at practice providing you are back to pick them up no later than fifteen minutes before the end of practice.  It is required that your coach has a phone number where you can be reached in case of emergency.  If you stay and watch practice you are encouraged to do so at a distance.  Parents are not allowed to disturb or interrupt practice, nor are they allowed to give directions to players.  Please understand that training sessions are learning situations and players need to concentrate and listen to their coach to improve.  We will more fully discuss this at your parent team meeting.

Q. Will a player participate in a game or tournament if they miss practice?

A. Missing practice with or without permission will have some consequence (not starting, sitting out half or one full game, etc.) depending on the reason. Missing practice without permission will definitely result in sitting out at least one game.  Excessively missing practice will result in that player being dropped from the team permanently.  Players (U12 and older although even younger ages are encouraged), not parents must contact their coach in advance if they will not be attending practice. This will be more fully discussed at your initial parent team meeting.

Q. Will players be penalized if they do not attend all of the tournaments?

A. Yes.  One of the most important and exciting aspects of being a member of a travel team is the ability to travel as a team to other cities.  This allows your child to experience camaraderie at a higher level.  It also allows them to compete against unknown players giving them exposure to varied coaching strategies and different skill levels.  It will certainly be the player’s loss not to attend.  If parents cannot travel due to financial reasons or other commitments, please speak to me or your coach individually to see if alternative arrangements could be made to allow your child to attend by traveling with another player’s family.

Q. Can you coach your children from the sideline during games?

A. Unequivocally NO. This will not be tolerated! This is part of our “Zero Tolerance Policy” and will be more fully explained at your team meeting.  We do not want two forms of instruction being fed to the players.  Players need to concentrate 100% at the task at hand.  Those of you who have played a competitive sport already realize that someone yelling instruction to you at a specific moment when you’re involved in a play is extremely distracting and in most cases causes you to lose your concentration and make an error or mistake. Yelling at the referees will also not be tolerated! For either offense parents will receive one warning. Second offense they will be asked to leave the field.  Third offense will result in that parent being suspended from all fields for thirty days.  Any further offense will result in the player being suspended or released from the team. Team managers, coaches and club administrators will be responsible for enforcement of this policy.  Sit back, relax, and just let the kids play.  It is their game!

Q. Can you yell anything to players during a game or do you have to sit quietly?

A. It is perfectly normal and appropriate to be a good fan on the sideline, and it is fine to yell encouragement to your children.  However all the players should be encouraged and not just your own child.  Yelling out criticism at your child or any player will not be tolerated!  Please realize that encouragement should not be mistaken for telling players where to be, who may be open, or to shoot!  That is coaching (see question 15). Parents are not allowed to yell anything whatsoever at the other team’s players, coaches, or at the referees.  Any verbal abuse will result in that parent being asked to leave the field. It is expected that Team Boca parents will project a positive image and set an example of good sportsmanship before, during, and after the game.

Q. Who decides how much playing time and what position your child plays?

A. The coach and only the coach.  These decisions are made based on several factors, including but not limited to your child’s performance during practice sessions, during games, and what is best for the overall chemistry and strength of the team.  It is highly probable your child will play several positions throughout the season.  This will be more fully discussed at your team meeting.

Q. Is there a minimum or maximum amount of minutes your child will play each game?

A. No. Your coach will determine playing time depending on several factors, including but not limited to their technical and tactical ability, their physical condition, game performance, practice performance, attitude, game tactics, and strategy.  A player’s development takes place over the course of many months of training and games – NOT in any one particular game.  Coaches are instructed to manage the playing time of each player over the course of an entire season of games.  Every effort will be made to balance the good of an individual player verses the good of the entire team. In the younger developmental age groups the goal of every coach is to have each player play an average of one half of each game.  Your coach should not be confronted over player personnel matters relating to playing time or other team issues. Such communication should be between the coach and player.  This area will be more fully discussed in your initial group parent meeting.

Q. Is it appropriate to speak to your coach about your child’s progress?

A. Yes, in fact, if requested your coach will also give you a critique of your child’s development at the end of the season.  Such review will include the player’s strengths, weaknesses, areas that have improved, areas that still need improvement, and suggestions for off-season training.  However, communication throughout the year is both welcome and encouraged in regard to your child’s development.  However, discussion in regard to playing time, positions, etc. should not be discussed and should be between the player and coach only.

These questions and several others will be reviewed and discussed more fully during your initial team parent meeting.