The Scottish Football Association

Parent Tools to Honour Our Game

Honour our game boy, coach and grandad

 Honour Our Game

Teach your child to honour the rules, opponents, officials, team-mates and themselves. (ROOTS)


Rules - Encourage your child to obey and uphold the rules and play the game fairly

Opponents - Encourage your child to show respect to opposition - Play hard and play fair

Officials - Encourage your child to value a referee’s role and always show respect

Team-mates - Give teammates praise & encouragement - Work together to achieve team goals

Self - Lead by example by your manner and behaviour on and off the pitch


Parent Tools to Honour Our Game

Teachable Moments

There are many situations that arise during games or even in professional and football which can be used to teach your child valuable life lessons. These teachable moments can be both negative and positive – for example a high profile player behaving in a controversial way or a young player assisting an injured opponent. Use these situations and examples to engage your child in discussions about which situations honour our game. You can let them know how you feel the situation should have been dealt with after they have voiced their thoughts.

Teach & discuss

Ensure your child is aware of ROOTS and what it stands for. By explaining the ROOTS messages, it will ensure your child understands them and you will able to reinforce the behaviour you want as a parent. Taking time at home or before a match to discuss ROOTS and communicate the expected behaviour both on and off the par will encourage young players to give their best and respect all involved in the game.

No directions cheering

As a parent you have a very important role of encouraging and praising your child during matches. It is very easy to get caught up in the game and feel the need to give directions to your child. Restrict your feedback to no directions cheering. This means not to shout coaching instructions or even terms like pass it or shoot. Concentrate on cheering and using terms like well done or brilliant, as these don’t give directions but give great encouragement to your child. We want your child to express themselves on the pitch and make their own decisions. Refer to the 50 ways to say well done in the parent resources section.

Let coaches coach

The coach’s role is to develop and support your child by giving them coaching and setting goals. During training and matches your child’s coach will be asking players to work on key aspects of their game. As a parent your role is to support by giving praise for effort and encouraging them to enjoy their experience. Allow the coaches to coach your child and don’t give coaching instructions as this will confuse your child as may be hearing conflicting information. Show respect to the coach and let him do his job and you concentrate on supporting your child to enjoy the game through praise and encouragement.

Be a role model – Model ROOTS

You are a role model for your child so always display positive behaviour on match days. Teach your child to Honour our game by praising teammates and opposition. Thank the coach and referee for the job they do and always promote ROOTS. By leading by example you are letting other parents, young people, coaches and your own child see your standard of behaviour. At the heart of the Honour our game message are the principles of respect, fairness, integrity, teamwork, and self-respect. These are all values you want to instill in your child, on and off the playing field.

Match day Touchline champion

A Match day touchline champion can help to shape the culture of a club and create better environment for the young players to play. Having this person reinforce the honour our game messages is an excellent way of preventing many of the negative issues which can occur in youth football. A match day champion will help with touchline management by giving gentle or, when necessary, more assertive reminders to honour our game! The ideal have strong, yet friendly people skills. Parents can be excellent touchline champions. Take on the responsibility to make the environment the best it can be for your child.

The main role is to:

• promote positive behaviour on the touchlines

• Get to know the parents and other people involved with the club/organisation

• Be a role model and take the lead – demonstrate to others how to honour our game

• Enlist the help of others to ensure everyone continues to abide by PCS at each age group

•Distribute PCS parent’s leaflets and effort cards to promote positive messages to parents & players


See Match-day touchline champion role description in parent resources section.


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