How to deal with an over bearing parent

So I reluctantly stepped forward to coach/manage my son's U8 team. It has taken me completely out of my comfort zone but we're three matches in and I have to say I'm loving it. I don't have an assistant yet so am doing the coaching and managing myself. This is all new to me and it's the first year the boys have played in a league so new to them as well. We've yet to win a game but we keep smiling and I ensure I encourage the boys to just have fun whatever the outcome. My issue is one of the dad's. Every match so far he stands on the sidelines shouting at the boys telling them what to do and where to stand. He is contradicting what I'm telling the boys and what I'm trying to encourage them to do during the match. Being a man his voice carries further than mine. This weekend he surpassed himself. After one of the quarters my team were standing on the pitch waiting for the other team so they could start the next quarter. This dad ducks under the respect line, runs onto the pitch and moves the boys to where he thinks they should be. It completely undermined me in front of the kids, parents, opposition and referee. My question is have you dealt with something similar and if so, how without causing a fall out? Any suggestions greatly received. Thanks. Gemma

  • Thank you James. All advice is greatly received. 

  • Well not only has he gone against all RESPECT guidelines, but also ignored all Covid rules by entering the pitch and being in close contact with the squad.  As club secretary, I would step in at this stage and have words with him and then send a copy of that discussion to him over email.  

  • Hi Gemma. Football needs people like you so well done on taking on your coaching journey! Unfortunately we come across people like this from time to time. Here are a few things which I used ( and still do ) when I was first starting out. 

    They are children first and foremost who want to have fun playing football

    5 a side foundation mini soccer is a version of football designed for learning

    All the children will see is an angry adult making lots of noise for no good reason!

    Mini soccer appears to be the same version of the adult game to some people, a gentle reminder that the children are taking their first steps in the game is a good thing to do 

    You will work out. Get to know your players and their parents and remember you are doing this for the greater good and your players will not forget the positive impact you are having on them ( & their parents )

    Best of luck..

    Paul

  • Hi Gemma

    Sorry to hear about this.  Not nice at all.

    Theres a really great short video on you tube called when I wear my magic shirt  that you can send a link to your parents. Its a great video because its produced from the child's perspective and it should help address the terrible attitude from that parent. Cheers and good luck. 

  • Keep up the good work gemma, yep get him told as soon as and get some support with an assistant. It will help you greatly have someone else to coach with and talk to.

  • Hi Gemma hope your well and safe apart from this issue.

    Well done for stepping up with your club and your team.

    After coaching my sons team for a season and a half and being a parent on the sidelines before that we’ve been quite lucky to never have problems like this.

    However during a pre season game we did have problems with vocal parents and I had to speak them all about keeping quite during games.

    my advise is speak to them all and tackle it head on you maybe surprised they respond well to it the club should also be backing you on it. If you want / need specific advise drop me a message if you like and I’ll give some tips 07989213007

    best wishes

    james

  • Stick in there Gemma, the kids are the first barometer of how you are doing. From bitter experience I can also reassure you it happens to dads as well.  Sounds like you are feeling a  little alone on this, although the support on line here should help you get through. The CWO should be made aware of the fact a parent encroached (the oppo may well have informed their CWO). You can then chose how to work with the CWO on this one. If you haven't seen the FA Video Safeguarding for Committee members (free & online) it is worth a look. I have been CWO for a long time and I would would want to know this happened and how you'd want me to play it (within the boundaries of my over riding responsibile for safeguarding).  Let us all know how you get on though

  • Hi Andrew

    Your video suggestion sounds good. I can’t find it on youtube though. Could you send me the link please?

    Can you speak to your Welfare Officer and ask for the code of conduct. Just remind the parents about it to start with and that they’re setting as much of an example to the children as anyone else.

    If the interference happens again you have to tackle it head on and ask the parent concerned to get back behind the respect barrier and leave the coaching to you. 

    If he gets the then he shouldn’t be allowed to spectate.

  • Hi Gemma,

    Totally unacceptable.

    First I would ask him if he wants to step forward and help officially, if he does make sure he does a coaching course.

    Talk to you committee, club officials should attend the game and deal with, if they do not then speak to your County FA and they may send someone along to observe.

    Good luck

    Andy