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Shhhh “it’s just a game” Silent Sideline

Feb 26, 11 Shhhh “it’s just a game” Silent Sideline

Silent Sidelines

I first heard about this idea some years back even before I set up this blog. It’s something I have been meaning to try and push with all the leagues across the country.

Too often in kids sports; adults, parents and coaches become overly vocal in their approach to working with young athletes. However well-intentioned some of them may be, the results are not always positive. With a Silent Weekend, the coaches and parents are asked to keep talking to a bare minimum on the sidelines. One coach from each team will be given the task to instruct, whilst everyone else stays silent. Supporters are allowed to clap to show their enthusiasm but fans are restricted from coaching their kids from the sideline. This is a weekend when kids can make decisions for themselves without having adults shout 5/6 different instructions at them.

  • No Shouting instructions.
  • No Shouting at the ref.
  • No Shouting at the opposition.
  • Absolutely No shouting when a player is about to receive to ball or pass it.

With the sidelines quiet, players have the chance to make their own split-second decisions on the pitch and learn by them. Instead of being distracted by the stream of noise that usually exists, the kids on the pitch get the opportunity to communicate with one another, deciding who will take the throw ins, the goal-kicks, free-kicks or the corner kicks etc. This also gives them time to think and focus on what they are about to do.

The focus of the weekend is not to take the atmosphere out of the kids game but instead try and encourage less coaching from the line. I want every team in Ireland in organised leagues in ever sport to conform the ‘Silent’ weekend. Not everyone is going to agree with this idea, but one thing is for sure, the kids will!!!

I’m aware that many teams have some great coaches & parents who may already give minimal instruction and focus on the positives in a game more than others. This exercise is to highlight the over coaching from adults on the sideline across all kids sports in Ireland including soccer. I think a lot of kids will benefit from this even, if they are use to hearing encouraging words every week.

You can be sure that one population that favours the silence is the referees. “They will love this, and I’m sure they would love to have it every weekend.

The response will be superb, from both kids and adults and another step in the right direction. Lets make this happen; we can start by getting people to share this post! 


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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