"Parents' Anger on the Soccer Field – and mitigating factors"

Podium’s Podcast of the Week:   An interview with Jay Goldstein at AASP October 27, 2007 – Louisville, Kentucky

by Dr. Stephen Walker

Jay Goldstein is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland and is engaged in ongoing research for his doctorate involving kids engaged in youth football and coaching behavior.  Jay’s doctoral research has been made possible through grant moneys from USA Football.  His doctoral thesis focuses on the youth sport experience and coaching behaviors that either help or hinder kids in learning the skill sets taught, but also their enjoyment participating.  Stay tuned for Podium’s release of that upcoming Podcast.  Jay is an up and coming researcher in applied sport psychology with interests in a variety of youth sports, coaching education, and motivation.  Listening to this piece you will understand just how valuable this work is becoming.

This particular interview reviews a field research study of highly engaged competitive soccer parents.  This research had both league and team support in sponsorship and execution. “Sideline Rage” is discussed in terms of its frequency and severity. Although anger is a concern, it is not as prevalent in this study as often reported in the press. However, concerns regarding expression of anger directed toward officials, coaches, teammates and even their own child are examined. This interview includes a very interesting discussion of how and why certain people tend to react as strongly as they do. 

Intervention strategies are also recommended including “how” parents can keep from taking things too personally and a couple of techniques are offered to help minimize their negative experience.

Goldstein, J.D., Iso-Ahola, S.E. (2008). Determinants of Parents’ Sideline-Rage Emotions and Behaviors at Youth Soccer Games. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 1442-1462.  Click here to access his Thesis.


Click Here for Podium’s Podcast of the Week: aasp07-j-goldstein-soccer-parent-anger-mitigating-sources-outcomes1

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