Parents always have the best intentions when it comes to supporting their child in football, however, sometimes it can come across as pushy and become too much for the child. This article looks at subtle ways parents can better support their children from the sidelines and at home.

1. Don’t always focus on winning

Of course, parents want their children to win games and improve their football but sometimes if a parent is solely focused on winning it can overshadow the child’s performance. 

So parents need to support the ‘process’ not the outcome. In other words, they should focus on helping their child to develop their football, work well in the team and more importantly enjoy themselves instead of always focusing on the result.

2. Positivity from the sidelines

Parents should give praise and be positive towards their children during a game even if things are not going well. Acting the same way to the whole team is also a great way to show support as it can make the players work harder for said praise and positivity.

Remaining composed when watching a game helps players to stay focused on the game and not become embarrassed. So, not constantly yelling instructions at the child from the sidelines, but instead being calm and instructive is a much better way to be supportive.

In some instances, parents can get caught up in the heat of the game and argue with parents and coaches from the opposition team. Again not only will this distract the players but it's not a healthy way to support your child and doesn’t set a good example. 

3. Encourage them to try different sports

A good way to support the development of young players is to encourage them to play different sports as well as football. Engaging in other sports may not develop the fundamental techniques of football but playing them can improve motor skills and general athletic ability.

Having other passions in sport can also help with the mental and social aspects of a child’s development. For example, with the more creative players, it can help with their decision making and pattern recognition. Also if children find success in these sports it can increase their overall motivation and confidence all of which can be transferred into their football.

4. Listening to them

Reflecting on a game with a child is such a key aspect of supporting them in their football journey. Having input in this reflection is important to support them, as parents see a different perspective on the game from the sidelines. However, it's key to let the child lead the reflection on what they thought went well, what they thought didn’t go so well, etc.

So it’s important for parents to listen to what their child has to say and then give their input and advice for how they think they should improve. Check out this really handy article over on The Coaching Manual that gives more advice on how parents can help their child to reflect.

5. Encourage practice at home

If parents are serious about wanting their child to improve, encouraging practice away from the training ground is a fantastic way for them to do so. Including games and training sessions, most young players only have 2-3 hours of contact time with their coaches in which to improve their game. So encouraging children to practice the fundamentals of football at home is vital. 

This infographic from The Coaching Manual shows why practice at home is so important…


It’s not like asking a child to do their homework, they will more than likely enjoy the encouragement to play football at home and in turn when they see improvements in their game they will, of course, be glad for it. 

“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”

It’s not like asking a child to do their homework, they will more than likely enjoy the encouragement to play football at home and in turn when they see improvements in their game they will, of course, be glad for it. 

TopTekkers is the perfect app to support your child in this way. The app is designed by Premier League academy coaches and specifically aimed towards keeping children active and giving them the tools to improve their game.

The tools on the app allow parents and coaches to set development plans for the players to complete at home and also provides the opportunity to track their progress throughout the season.

Download it here and get started today!