The season is in full swing! Players are taking the field with their teammates to play the game they love! One of the most important things to remember is how the players, parents, and coaches represent Barça Academy and their community every time a team takes the field to compete. We want to hold each other to a very high standard of respect and sportsmanship for our opponents and the referees. We all have experienced situations at youth sporting events that should never happen and it is normally caused by a coach or parent crossing the line with comments directed towards players, coaches, parents, and especially the referee.
The value of proper sideline behavior during a match is paramount. The expectation is that the parents spend the game cheering on their kids and nothing more. Instructions to the players and comments to the referee are strongly discouraged. Coaches should ALWAYS keep a cool and level head when talking to the referee about decisions made (or not made) during the game. Coaches seeking clarification should approach the referee(s) at halftime or after the game. Discussing disagreements with the referees during the game only distracts a coach from managing the game and helping their players.
No doubt teams will encounter referees, coaches, and opposing parents who are hard to deal with and who will not hold themselves to the same standard that we expect from ourselves. Even though it is difficult at times, we must not stray from doing what we know to be right, even when those around us are making the situation very difficult. We must always remember that kids observe what adults do very closely and as soon as they see adults disrespecting each other or the referee, we are subconsciously giving the kids permission to do the same.
Adapted for Barça Academy Columbus from original message written by Tony Earp.