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Match Psychology for Parents and Kids - A MUST Read for League Participants

20th November 2015

Greetings Parents,

As the 5th Season of the famous SSE Champions League is fast approaching, we would like to highlight the role Parents play in the development of their child's sporting life.

We have used Psychology for Football as our basis to simply guide you for the upcoming League. There is much to write about on this subject but hopefully we have kept it as concise as possible to make it a 2 minute read!

SSE United

Parent Reflection Corner

This is a good exercise so we urge Parents to sit for a few minutes and think of the question, What is the Purpose of my child playing Football?

Before and After the Match

For many kids, this is their first real sporting experience and there are bound to be some nerves that are brought along onto the field. Parents here have a vital role to play and it starts at home in the week towards the build up to match day. We as an academy will do our best to chat with the kids but parents have a bigger role to play as you naturally spend more time with them.

Prior to the game, Say to your child:

  • Every match is an opportunity for you to learn about your strengths and weaknesses
  • Don't forget to have FUN! It's more important than winning or losing for now
  • Take a few deep breaths if you feel nervous before the game

Avoid Saying at ALL Costs:

  • You don't have to pass the ball, just shoot it in the goal
  • We must Win today
  • I want you to score a hat rick and be top scorer
  • Come on you are better than them

Post Match, Say to your Child

  • I am proud of you because you gave your best ( Applicable In a win or loss situation)
  • I can see improvement well done ( Applicable In a win or loss situation)
  • Did you shake hands with everyone after the game?
  • Did you say Thank you to the Referee?

SSE United

Regular Parent Questions at the League

Be aware of the type of questions you ask your child and the type of answers you receive back. Our natural instinct is to ask:

  • Did you win?
  • What was the score?
  • Did you score?

These are all result based questions which are not great to ask.

Positive Questions you can Ask

  • Did you have fun today?
  • Were you a good team player today? How so?
  • Did you give your best?
  • What did you learn from today's game?
  • Did you celebrate goals scored with your team?
  • And many more..

Assess their Achievement

Develop a means of assessing your child's Personal Best (PB) achievement in matches. Sports like Swimming, Athletics, Cricket, Baseball etc have a defined PB score to assess and compare performances. Eg: A 100 Meter sprinter is aware of his previous time recorded. Even though he loses a race but improves his PB score, he remains motivated and confident in himself to do even better the next time.

Some Suggestions for PB Scores:

  • Passes Made
  • Passes Successfully Completed
  • Shots on Target
  • Successful Tackles Made
  • Goals saved
  • Goals scored ( But should not be the only question)

Parent Tendencies

As Parents, we often have a strong desire to always make things right for our children. This well-intentioned desire can make parents a little too eager on the touchline which adversely affects the experience of the child.


  • Constantly making decisions for them during the game ( Shoot, Pass, Dribble, Stop, Run!)
  • Let kids learn by making their own decisions!
  • Shouting at them if they did not play well or missed / let in a goal
  • Making them nervous before the game

Parents Should:

  • Ensure Good Hydration and Nutrition
  • Apply Sun Block
  • Keep the Kids positive and stress free
  • Grab a chair and a cup of Coffee
  • Enjoy the game and your Sunday morning with the family!

SSE United

See you all soon! Thanks for Reading.

Your Friends at SSE