"Play as a team. Remember to pass."
"Go, Johnny. Score, score, score!"
It can be confusing when you're playing in a soccer game and your coach says one thing and your parents another. Whom do you listen to? The situation can get even worse if your parents yell at the coach or other players.
Last year Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens was asked to leave his 10-year-old son's youth baseball game after the umpire said Clemens spit a sunflower seed at him. Clemens's son had just been called out on a disputed play.
While very few parents act poorly at games, Amy Orndorff found that there is some advice local kids would like to give their No. 1 fans.
1. Cheer for everyone on the team, not just your kid.
"Even though your parents cheer for you, if they are very nice and supportive, they can cheer for other people on the team," said Megan King, 8, a Rockville soccer player.
Teammate Lydia Barr, 8, agreed, "I like it when they cheer for other people because if they only cheered for me I would feel guilty."
2. Let the coach do the coaching.
"It embarrasses me when my mom tells me to get the ball and it isn't near me," Megan said.
No kid likes to sit on the bench, but that doesn't mean parents should bug coaches to put their kid in the game. "I think that if I just play for maybe five minutes, I can get up there, win it and have a good time," said soccer player Kelsey Kovacs, 8, of Rockville.
3. Nicknames that might be fine off the field can be very uncool at a sporting event.
Soccer player Zoe Salteris, 7, of Rockville said she is embarrassed "when my mom always calls me 'Love Bug.' "
4. Roll tape. Videotaping is okay.
"I like it because I can see the mistakes I made and the good things," said Woodbridge ice hockey player James Vuillemont, 10.
5. I can't hear you now!
Cheering is great, but don't expect to be understood all the time. Players at the other end of the soccer field don't know what you're saying. And do you really think a swimmer can hear you under water?
6. Relax! It's a game.
Kids don't want their parents taking the sport more seriously than they do. Kids play to be around other kids, learn skills and have fun! "I think it is fun, and when I have everything on my mind, [playing hockey] calms me down," James said.