Coaching Soccer Parents

Ten rules for parents from 1974

I got this information Glenn Mulcahy and it seems not much has changed in terms of parents involvement in their child’s sport.

“Ten rules for parents of athletes” below written by Lloyd Percival, a coach in Canada during the 50’s and 60’s who worked with numerous athletes who became national champions or Olympians, He also published “The Hockey Handbook” which is argued by many to be one of the best hockey instructional books ever written published initially in 1951 although he only coached for one season of hockey.

He credits his wife for the initial groundwork but the final rules he published in the Sport and Fitness Instructor (The Canadian Fitness Institutes monthly journal) in 1974 is a result of his interaction with numerous athletes and their parents during his tenure of coaching over 2 decades including his radio coaching on the Sports College for CBC’s National Radio Program.

Since he published the ten rules, numerous sports bodies have incorporated variations of same, thought you would appreciate if had seen any of the variations the original ten rules I found posted by the author of Lloyds biography.

Ten Rules For Parents of Athletes – Lloyd Percival – 1974

  1. Make sure your child knows that win or lose, scared or heroic, you love them, appreciate their efforts and are not disappointed in them.
  2. Try to be completely honest with yourself about your child’s athletic capability, competitive attitude, sportsmanship and actual level of skill.
  3. Be helpful, but don’t “coach” them on the way to the track, diamond or court … on the way back … at breakfast … and so on.
  4. Teach your child to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be “out there trying” to be working to improve their skills and attitudes … to take physical bumps and come back for more.
  5. Try not to re-live your athletic life through your child in a way that it creates pressure; you fumbled too, you lost as well as you won. You were frightened, you backed off at times, and you were not always heroic. Don’t pressure your child because of your pride.
  6. Don’t compete with the coach.
  7. Don’t compare the skill, courage or attitudes of your child with other members of the squad or team, at least in range of him/her hearing
  8. You should also get to know the coach so that you can be assured that their philosophy, attitudes , and ethics and knowledge are such that you are comfortable with them taking a prominent role in the development of your child.
  9. Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized.
  10. Make a point of understanding courage and the fact that it is relative.


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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