The usual response to your sideline comments is a tug on your shirt from your spouse, a glare, rolling of eyes by your neighbors, and a silent promise by your daughter to change her name and become an orphan. However, there are those times when your comments result in a sudden pall of silence and your becoming the center of attention from the sidelines and the field. Sort of like in 4th grade when you fell asleep in class and made a funny sound when you startled awake. This means you have Crossed The Line from being an obnoxious parent/fan to another status entirely - such as the Unknown Brother at a U-16 Regionals game making anatomically uncomfortable suggestions about where a referee’s un-blown whistle should reside. When silence falls and you are the focus of everyone’s attention it may be time to announce that you are overdue at the hospital to perform a lifesaving operation and to slink away at top speed.
Rule #6: This Is Still a Game.
Despite the fact that each player’s family has invested a great deal of time and money in soccer at this level, and they are hoping that soccer will help pay the college bills, it is still a game and if your daughter doesn’t enjoy it she will not play well - and maybe not at all. Ask yourself if what you do at games and practices and tournaments helps your daughter have fun and enjoy the game or adds pressure and worry. Ask yourself after the game if watching two teams of beautiful, talented, fit, and eager young ladies was fun for you? If it wasn’t - if you found yourself criticizing, carping, upset, and unhappy - remember that there is enough pressure and stress involved with making a living and guiding your family through the challenges of modern life. Forget the calls, forget the score, forget the standings. Give your daughter a hug, tell her you love her, and be thankful for every day you have to share with her because they don’t stay kids very long.