A guide to youth football for parents and guardians.
Making sure children and young people have a safe and enjoyable football experience.
Everyone involved in football should promote the highest-possible standards of behaviour, so we can pass our great game on in good shape to future generations.
This applies as much to parents/carers as anyone else. No doubt we’ve all heard – and perhaps seen – over-zealous parents behaving badly at children’s matches. Sometimes unwittingly, they can create a climate of intimidation that stops children wanting to play.
Ensuring parents/carers behave appropriately at youth team matches is codified into ‘Respect’, an ongoing FA drive to improve everyone’s standards of behaviour. In fact, there’s a code of conduct for parents/carers which you will be asked to sign up to if you have a child playing for a youth team.
Equally, apart from parents/carers behaving responsibly themselves, you may also witness inappropriate or threatening behaviour from a fellow adult towards a child or young person. It can be difficult to confront this, so football has set up various confidential ways you can report your concerns.
Watch the video below and click here to find out more about how to report your concerns. Of course, everything is completely confidential.
In addition, as well all know, today’s younger generation are actively engaged in the digital world. This could be by visiting websites, engaging in social media, or receiving texts and/or emails. As a parent/guardian you should be aware of how your child(ren) are being contacted by their club via digital media – and the general guidance that surrounds young people’s use of social networking sites.
The FA's Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, players and parents from grassroots to elite football - to help ensure a safe, positive environment in which to play the game.