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Will the school soccer dads just get a life.

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.



19 thoughts on “Will the school soccer dads just get a life.

  1. At that age, children should enjoy sport. I don’t think they should be forced into it at all.

  2. It’s just the typical and rather sad competitive culture that we now live with. My brothers two boys have played football for many years now and whenever my mums been to watch, she’s always got a bit cross with how the dads in particular stand on the line screaming at their kids, telling them they’re useless, throwing their arms up in the air and generally making their kids look like a waste of space. It’s a hobby at that age, and really unfair to put that kind of pressure on them. Maybe the dads are just expecting their sons to live out the dream they always wanted to come true for themselves.

    1. I think a lot of it is that the dads want their kids to get to where they wanted to be as footballers, but never managed it.

      The big kids gala in Aberdeen last year was awful as they cannibalised the lower level team last year & left the poor kids in it with absolutely zero chance. Seeing their faces before they got on the pitch and realised they were going to have to play without their up front players wasn’t nice.

      They tried hard though, so they did themselves proud doing their best given how unfair the situation was..

      They got decimated in all three games though, and the other teams parents were unforgivable. When your kids team is winning about by a huge margin, it could have been about 15 – 0 (stopped counting after 5), it’s pretty rude and nasty to keep punching the air and shouting, “get em in you dancer,” and roaring at every goal when the opposite team are obviously not a trained team. They weren’t playing on an even field and was terrible to watch. I’ve no idea what it must have felt like for the kids trying to play against such an onslaught.

  3. That’s terrible! My 7 yo plays for a team not connected to school as our schools in this area don’t do teams. The coach is a lovely guy, very fair and more likely to drop his own son than anyone else. The first season they played they lost every game but one which was a draw. This season they drew the first game and it was as if they’d won, they were so proud. He makes a big thing about enjoying it and improving but not winning, which is how it should be at that age. Out of interest, do the FA’s respect rules apply in Scotland? Might be worth having a peek at their website…

    1. The lads clubs work it completely differently, but with middler who has learning difficulties, I can’t do the travelling needed for mine to be part of that environment, so school football it has to be for them 🙁 I agree, it should be about playing at that age and not the determination to win at all costs.

  4. That is really awful, so sorry to hear kids are being treated like that and dads are behaving like that. My husband coaches my son’s under 9s team, they have one squad of 14 players, roughly divided as 7 good and 7 ‘not so good’. He encourages all the players and his main aim is to build the skills and confidence of less able players. He does a great job.

    1. My eldest had a good year for coaches. Some people did complain then, but I thought they were really fair then.

  5. I think that problem seems to exist everywhere there are teams of people who want their kids to be competitive. It’s very sad.

    1. Some are so vicious that they don’t care about the other kids getting hurt. Some say kids need to toughen up and learn that in life, there are always losers, but I think that under 10’s are too young to be treated like that.

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