Shhhh - you’re on the sideline

Shhhh - you’re on the sideline
GAA president Liam O'Neill

GAA president Liam O’Neill has said the organisation is considering holding silent games at underage level in response to parents shouting at kids from the sidelines.

O’Neill said yelling at kids during games was unacceptable and lowered their self-esteem.

The U14 Feile Peil na nOg was held in Connacht last weekend and the GAA made the issue of sideline criticism one of their priorities for the event.

“We put children out on the field sometimes (and) we feel it’s okay to shout at them,” O’Neill said.

“If you lower a child’s self-esteem by a derogatory remark, it takes 20 positive remarks to take the child’s self-esteem up to where he or she was before the comment was made.”

This follows the ‘Silent Sideline’ weekend - a similar initiative for underage soccer in March.

Antonio Mantero organised that event and has spoken of the harm that can be caused by aggressive parents on the sideline:

“All the screaming and shouting from the line definitely damages kids’ confidence, it puts them off their game.”

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