Last November, Cornwall FA supported the first pilot of the Silent Support Weekend with the aim being to allow youth players to explore their own game, find their voice and take control of the game.
The Silent Support Weekend will now return the weekend of 25-26th February 2023, giving another opportunity for the players to do the talking in junior grassroots football, with parents and supporters showing their support from the sidelines through applause only.
“I play better when nobody shouts at me.”
- U9s player
“It can get confusing when lots of people are telling you what to do.”
- U14s player
The FA received feedback from over 3000 people who participated last time around and this has been taken on board during planning of the second Silent Support Weekend. Though extremely positive, some did miss the support and guidance from their coach, something which has been considered for February’s event.
This time around, coaches will be permitted to coach throughout the match, with parents and supporters lending support through applause only. This means that the players are able to get support from their coach if they need to.
Overall, the benefits on player development are clear - it helps them to communicate among themselves and support their teammates. Less outside influence gave them more independence and the chance to practice key skills without instruction. It allows the players to identify areas for development and explore new tactics on the pitch, which all supports their own development of critical thinking and their playing journey.
"The Silent Support Weekend is a great opportunity for children to play football in a less pressured environment," said Claire Summers-Evans, Designated Safeguarding Officer at Cornwall FA. "Far too often there are parents shouting instructions from the sidelines which not only contradict the instructions already given by their coach, but which cause young players to feel confused leading to anxiety. We aren’t asking for complete silence at matches, coaches are still able to issue positive instructions to their players and spectators can still applaud good play by clapping. It would be fantastic to see all teams and youth leagues taking part and fully supporting this initiative."
For further information and to sign up and play your part on Silent Support Weekend, please click here. Cornwall FA thanks you all for your continued support of this initiative.