Here’s a neat idea that we’ve started to use before the championship matches of our league’s end of season tournament. We do a World Cup style ‘walkout’ with both teams. The teams lineup on the bench side of the field at midfield behind the ARs. The center then leads both lines, walking about 2/3rds of the way across the field, then stops while the ARs walk towards each goal until the teams are in a straight line facing the parents. The parents cheer, take pictures, etc. for a minute or two and then they call captains and get on with it. The kids get a kick out of it and it gets them psyched for the upcoming match.

Now in our league, the parents all sit on one side with the teams on the other. I know many leagues have a team and their parents on the same side of the field, so this wouldn’t exactly work, but I bet you could figure out some way to do it. Of course maybe everyone already does this and we’re just slow learners. :)