Spectator Behavior Guidelines

We ask all JPYS parents, families, and spectators to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE refrain from providing instruction or direction to the players during games.

The same goes for practices, scrimmages, etc. If you have played with JPYS before now, you should have heard this. We emphasize this at all levels in JPYS because we believe it is that important to players' development. It's great to offer words of encouragement or praise such as, "Great pass!" or "Nice teamwork!" but please try to avoid shouting directions such as "Shoot!", "Spread out!", “Kick it!”, “Pass it!”, "Go to (some part of the field)", or anything that is intended as a direction or suggestion to a player about what they should do while playing. There are many reasons we ask this, but some of the most important are:

  • Players need to learn to make their own decisions on the field and communicate with each other. Outside direction from spectators while they are playing doesn't help them learn to do that.

  • It can be distracting to players while they are playing

  • It may be wrong, or contrary to something the coach has told them; even at best, it usually doesn't help them

  • It is the job of the coaches to coach the players, and you’ll find that, in the JPYS community, even the coaches are encouraged to speak as little as possible to the players while they are playing in games.

In short, the games belong to the players. We should do our best to let the players have them.

We recommend looking at The Sideline Project (https://thesidelineproject.com/take-pledge/) or the Positive Coaching Alliance (https://www.positivecoach.org/) for more ideas on how to support our players in a positive environment.

As a final note, we want to remind spectators to remain on the opposite the side of the field from the players during the game. This causes less distraction for the players, and makes it easier for the coaches, players, and referees to communicate with each other. Nobody should be on the end lines, or behind the goals at any time during the game.