In a recent local football tournament I was volunteered to referee some matches for 7 to 11 year olds.
Although I am not a qualified referee I enjoyed the event and it was quite interesting to see football from a different perspective.
The one thing that was highlighted by this experience was the discipline of young players and coaches.
While, in the main the football and discipline was excellent and a joy to witness, the event did not go without some incidents.
The main problem seemed to be with over enthusiastic coaches and parents living their playing days through young children.
There seemed to be a pattern that the less disciplined the coach, the less disciplined the players. Relaxed coaches tended to generate a relaxed atmosphere for their players.
I am not sure that all of the coaches at the event carried FA qualifications. Coaches and parents need to step back and take a look at themselves. Let the youngsters play and enjoy their football. There is no need to put them under pressure at such a young age.
The one thing that I would say to parents is to stand well back from the touchline. This has the effect of detaching you from the game, gives everyone a better view and give the kids chance to play their football.