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Knowing What’s Cheerworthy?

OK, I’ll admit it, I have some of the loudest, most spirited parents on the soccer team that I coach. And I mean that in a good way. They find something to cheer about for 60 straight minutes at every one of our u11 girls soccer games. It is one of my favorite things about our games. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, they are just into the game. That being said, there’s probably a law of diminishing returns when parents cheer on their kids for 60 minutes straight every game.

For years, I have never stopped my team parents from cheering even though at times it drowns out my instructions to the players. Hence, why some coaches forbid it. I just think coaches need to communicate to parents what is “Cheerworthy”. And to me the answer is simple.

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What Is Cheerworthy? Here Are Appropriate Times To Cheer

  • GOOOOOAAAAAL: If your team scores a goal, makes a basket or puts any points on the scoreboard, go ahead and let the kids know they did a great job. My only exception is when your team is winning by so much that the other team is being embarrassed. Then keep the cheers to a whisper or maybe just a discreet fist pump to show approval. 
  • Recognize the Assist: Cheer for the person who set up the score with a great assist, pass or hit. An unselfish player who makes big plays happen is always Cheerworthy.
  • Re-enforce the coaches instructions: If your player follows the coaches instructions to beat a defender, execute a great defensive play, make a smart decision, give them a shout-out.
  • Appreciate the battle, not just the winner: Cheer like crazy if your kid is battling for a ball, whether they win the battle or not, it shows tremendous heart.

So when your sympathetic nervous system tells you to scream every time your child touches the ball, try to let them think for themselves. And keep your cheering to just what’s Cheerworthy.

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April 15, 2023

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