A friend of mine recently attended a coaching class where they handed out a list of ‘Dead Words’ for coaches to share with their parents. The idea is you ask your parents not to say certain words in an attempt to stop them from sideline coaching or distracting the players too much. It’s an interesting idea.
The list was written by Ken Hays, though I’m not sure if this is the same Ken Hays that is this year’s USYSA Region III Girls Rec Coach of the Year
Here are the so called ‘Dead Words’ and some examples. I think the examples are what make the list useful:
|Attack||Attack the ball!|
|Beat||You can beat the player!|
|Blind||Ref, are you blind?|
|Close||Come on! Close the gap!|
|Cross||Hurry, cross the ball!|
|Cut||Cut right! Cut left!|
|Defend||Defend the forward!|
|Dribble||Dribble! Dribble down the field!|
|Fight||Fight for the ball!|
|Force||Force the turn-over!|
|Hit||Hit your forward, he’s open!|
|Hold||Don’t let him get past, hold his jersey!|
|Hurt||Get up, you’re not hurt! Play!|
|Jump||Jump on side!|
|Open||Your wing is open!|
|Pass||Pass to the middle!|
|Pressure||Pressure the ball!|
|Referee/Ref||What kind of call was that, Ref?|
|Run||What are you doing? Run!|
|Shift||Shift up! Shift back! Shift left! Shift right!|
|Shoot||Shoot! Shoot the ball!|
|Slide||Slide to the outside!|
|Take||Take him out!|
|Talk||Talk to your teammates!|
|Think||What are you doing? Think!|
|Throw||Throw the ball into the defender!|
|Wait||Wait for the pass!|
I thought there was one glaring omission: Ball. That would take care of a lot of the more annoying things that parents can shout out during a match.
As a coach, I don’t know if I’d send this out to my parents or not. I think it could rub some people the wrong way and do more harm than good. We all want a parent sideline that encourages the kids without distracting them, but if you just hand this list out, you might generate some resentment from your parents because you’re treating them like kids.
Instead, I’d use the list as a basis for an honest discussion with your parents about the proper things to say on a sideline. Use it as PART of a discussion. But I certainly would not recommend just handing it out. One of our coaches did and, well, the reaction was not what he expected!