I was tempted to use much stronger words in the title, but I decided to give them a break.
Yes, I know that they give up their own time, and that without them, our football wouldn’t run, but some of them really need to get a grip on the world outside their own little head space and really consider the possible results of what they do.
The truth of it is that I really, really get irritated and annoyed with the soccer dads. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not all like that and they’re not really bad, but the perceptions of what they do, by the filtering down through their kids causes chaos.
My eldest had a trouble-free football career at primary, with all the kids getting an even crack at the whip, and the coaches playing fair and giving the kids all equal chances at improving their skills. It was 4 years of bliss at primary football for him, and I really didn’t appreciate how rare and unusual that is.
It’s only natural that I expected the same kind of treatment for my littlest when he started football a couple of years later. The school pays nothing towards the football as far as I can tell, so the only influences are the dads who take charge of the whole thing, and the parents that pay.
What happened to littlest’s year, is that they went from two strong teams winning everything, to the “football coach” dads deciding they wanted all the good kids in the “A” team. Now that would have been ok if they’d left it at that, but they didn’t. When the Gala’s were on, or the “A” team was short of players, they would take the best players from the “B” team away to be spare subs for the “A” team. That left the “B” team without the kids they relied on at matches and trained with.
Nobody in the “A” team is going to complain about it as their kids still won everything - only now, there was a 2 tier system. The “A” team kids calling the “B” team kids names etc etc as the “B” team suddenly began to lose everything. The “A” team dads were going to do everything in their power to make sure their team won, and they could, as they were in charge.
We lived with it and the kids ran their little socks off trying to keep up with the often professionally trained other teams they had to play.
A year on, the “crappy” system has split P6-7 further into three teams as far as I can see. Teams “A” and “B” train together and have lots of matches. Team “C” trains on a different night and has very few matches from what I can see, although that may change. It’s easy to see they’ve taken team “C” and dumped them, all because they have less experience, and they don’t get the benefit of training with the kids whose parents are determined their kids are going to be future Premier Leaguers.
I can’t even get started on the sidelines dads who scream abuse at their kids for missing a goal or being in the wrong position, but that bubbles away too.
I have no beef about doing it fairly, but there has been little fairness in how this has worked out. The morality is crap, and I guess that’s why the rest of us parents have to sign a disclaimer that says we’re not allowed to disagree with anything that they decide.
Basically, they tell us to put up or shut up, or our kids are out.
For the sake of our kids, we tend to do what we’re told, but we don’t have to like it.
One child in littlest’s team whose dad has the luxury of a 9-5 job, which means he can coach, has told his darling that if he gets better at football, he’ll get moved up a team, but nobody else will. Where the final kicks come in, is when the soccer coach dads speak about the other kids in front of their own, and those kids go to school and tell the rest what teams etc they’re in. They use terms like ’you’re in the rubbish team for kids that are no use at football.”
Now that really gets the hackles up on the back of my neck.
But I really must remember that I am effectively gagged from saying anything to them, or they might throw my child out. On the blog, shouting from the rooftops, they can’t gag me here.
I feel so much better for letting that all out.