#J is for Just Zip It, Parents (a Guest Post From Madison)

stormtroopers car dash
I took this while waiting to pick up Madison from work one night. I wonder if anyone saw me.

Highway travel.

Vegas. Any weekend convention, if you’re a lot of guys. A wedding reception.

Definitely the parental sideline at any youth athletics event.

These are all places humans have gravitated toward boorish and ill-advised behavior. Today’s guest post is from my oldest, Madison, who, like her sisters, says she blocks out the noise from the familial upline, but what she wrote today demonstrates otherwise.

She hears you, y’all.

And today she’s fighting back. As a coach who doesn’t holler his head off, and therefore hears a lot of what she’s saying, I’m firmly in her support camp. I’ve heard some pretty asinine things coming from over there, you guys. My kid sums it up well.

madison warren wilson keeper
Moments after her first collegiate match in goal – and a victory!

10 of the worst soccer parent utterances

1. Get a foot on it

Good idea. Considering this is soccer.

2. Run/hustle

This would be okay advice if you weren’t yelling it during the 80th minute of a 100-degree game on a turf field and it looks like you’ve never seen the inside of the gym.

3. Do it Again

The majority of the time when this is screamed across the field, it’s after youʼve made a good play, but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. If it failed the first time, you don’t wanna do it again or it’ll just fail the second time.


4. Cm’on ref

No matter how many times you say this the ref will never c’mon and make your call after he’s already made his.

5.  Don’t let her beat/push you

This is soccer. Youʼre going to get beat and youʼre going to get pushed. And 1), we players donʼt like to get beat, so donʼt you think weʼre trying not to? And 2) itʼs inevitable to get pushed. It’s gunna happen. Whattya want me to do? Punch her?

6. Kick it hard

What a concept! Except harder is not always better. Donʼt believe me? Watch a menʼs match.

photo credit: drpavloff via photopin cc

7. Push her back

Um, nine times out of 10, refs will call you, so unless you wanna try some more of that cmʼon ref stuff, I would advise against telling us to do this.

8. Call it both ways, ref

Refs are awful no matter what side youʼre on, so why fight it? Just let go and let God.

9. Be aggressive

This isnʼt hockey, and again,  remember the refs are against us! Itʼd never work.

10. Turn around

Nah, imma just run the wrong way, itʼll look like a little kid trying to play FIFA.

Madison was an all-region goalkeeper at Queen’s Grant High School and played a season at Warren Wilson College. She’s currently studying to become a vet tech and I hope will train goalkeepers on any team I coach until the day Ronaldo’s hair falls out of place.

Other posts in the A to Z Challenge

A is for Approachable Stranger in Target

B is for Boy without a job

C is for Courtney Wright, guest blogger

D is for Designer, as in graphic, as in #GirlsRock: An interview with Amber Lorine

E is for Is he EVER going to catch up?

F is for Finally – he’s writing again (thanks, Cheryl Strayed!)

G is for Guest post – Lauren Mayhew, on Buried Treasure

H is for Here, as in Far From Here (Guest Post by Beatrice Pittoco)

I is for It’s Not Always Racism (Even When Pizza is Involved)

quotes campos parents




  1. joyroses13 says:

    Great advice from Madison!! I hope her studies go well, a love of animals is wonderful! They need special people to take care of them.

  2. Miriam says:

    Madison sounds like a great kid.

  3. When i watched my kids from the sidelines, all i ever said was “good job!” when they did something good. They just need to know i’m in their corner, the coach will take care of directing them otherwise.

  4. ksbeth says:

    she is clearly not only a talented soccer player, but a very smart girl –

  5. Kathy G says:

    I loved to watch my boys play soccer, but I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut until after the game, when it was time to offer something from the concession stand.

  6. Madison! I love this post! I played JV and Varsity Soccer back home. Becuase our island was so small, instead of playing other kids, we faced teams of other adults. And we still kicked butt! These are all great points. When my oldest was playing soccer I saw some awful coaches. You know the kind that take all the fun out of it! UGH! I will say I did encourage him to go after the ball aggressively, but never another player LOL

  7. Laura says:

    LOVE this one. Honestly, these were the things that made me come out of my skin when I was watching our kids play. I mean, “KICK IT HARD!”?? Give me a break.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Laura! One mom said, “someone needs to body slam that girl!” about Camdyn. I laughed, and thought, “I’d love to see you try, lady!” Give me a break indeed.

  8. Tamara says:

    Aaaww, Maddy, us parents are standing there at the sidelines, and we’re powerless. We don’t want our kids to get hurt, we want them to succeed and have fun, so what are we gonna do? Shout stupid stuff and hope for the best! 😂
    Thanks for linking up to this soccer themed Top Ten Thursday – great contribution!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It feels more hopeless on the parental sideline than the coaches’, Tamara. i for one never yell (very rarely, .02% of the total sideline time) when I’m a parent, but that’s a freak of nature for fathers.

      So glad to link up! I need to swing by and check out what’s been written since I joined.

  9. This is a riot! Especially because I’ve heard all of these phrases screamed at most soccer games I’ve been to, played by kids or professional soccer players. XD Thank you, Madison, for reminding us why we should lay off those comments. And thank you, Eli, for inviting her to stop by.

    Oh, and I agree: Referees are evil. 😉

    On a related note, did you watch the World Cup?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked it, Sara! There have been much worse things hollered – like the time a Hispanic team got really hype and started tossing around the worst of the bad words – they were actually directed at their own kids! – and the refs didn’t know what they were saying.

      I’m always happy to have one of my girls take up some room around here.

      Referees are so bad that I won’t get my hair cut at Sports Clips any more, because the stylists wear ref shirts (and you know their eyesight is suspect at best!)

      I did watch the World Cup as much as I could – did you? I love this tournament. Even when all the teams I like dropped out it was still a thrill (and one team didn’t even qualify *cough*U.S.*cough*

      1. Yes, like you, as much as I could. I didn’t really have a favorite going on, but I was hoping Croatia would pull it out in the championship… Actually, once it came down to the semi-finals, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be something if England and Belgium faced each other again, and in the final?” Well, they did, but not for that game! *lol*

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Another nation winning its first cup is a big deal, right? So much intrigue all the way around. I’m so ready for 2022!

  10. stomperdad says:

    Kudos to Madison. Parents do holler some stupid stuff during their child’s sporting events. My mom used to love to tell me “don’t aim, just pull back and throw” while I was pitching. I won’t even get into the insane hockey parents who think their kid is going to be the next Crosby.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’s been collecting these a while, Eric. Sounds like what the Orioles do, what your mom said! We should do profiles of the softball, soccer, football and hockey parents. Throw in cheer for good measure.

      Did you mean the next Joe Sakic?

      1. stomperdad says:

        The next hall of famer. The greatest thing on ice since Disney. Yeah, those parents.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        They kinda kill the love of the game, don’t they mate?

  11. Your girls so rock! I think you have done a great job as a dad and a coach! ❤

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