Opinion: Did his celebration show a lack of respect?


CelebrationIt’s Saturday morning and our striker’s just scored a goal which completed his hat-trick and put us 5-0 up. To celebrate he cupped his hand behind his ear and ran along the side of the pitch which had both home (our) and away fans along it.

Two minutes later and the final whistle blows, the kids shake hands and their manager walks over to our manager and asks, “Is your striker your son?”. “Yes”, replies our manager. “Well you ought to teach him some respect because that celebration showed a lack of respect”. “He does it every time he scores”, said our manager. At which point their manager grumbled snarled again about the celebration and walked over to his team.

There are a couple of ways I look at this:

  • As a good judge of character and based on the way in which he came across, I think this was just sour grapes because of the score
  • It’s a 7 year old boy enjoying scoring a goal / hat-trick by celebrating as he see’s players do on TV and on computer games
  • However, as a celebration it IS usually one senior players use to wind up opposition fans

Personally I felt the celebration could be taken with a pinch of salt. If I saw an opposition player do it with a great big smile I wouldn’t have a problem with it, he’s 7 years old. The unfortunate matter was that our striker caught what was said and it took the shine off his hat-trick (although I don’t expect this would have lasted long).

What’s your opinion fellow coaches? An opposition manager who needs to see the celebration for what it was or a goal celebration which is a bit over the top at U8 level?

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About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

4 Responses to Opinion: Did his celebration show a lack of respect?

  1. In the age of EA Sports FIFA series, it’s inevitable to celebrations creeping down to 7 year olds.

    If it were my child I’d probably discourage a big celebration of more than one goal (of their own) per per game, but at that age – if it keeps the kids excited about the sport it’s a positive in my book.

  2. I happen to think the opposition manager is correct. It’s certainly not something I would condone from my U8s. Does the player understand what he is doing and the significance of the gesture? If he understands that, then he should also be able to understand why people might be upset by it. And if he doesn’t understand, then you should tell him, and remind them not to copy what they see adults doing when they don’t understand.

  3. Similar situation arose a few weeks back with our U12s. Tight game, see-sawed either way – one of our lads scores the winner late on and runs up the bank around the parents (ours, the others were over the other side) on the side of the pitch whooping it up with half the team chasing him.

    So, I let it go, but at the end of the match ( a few minutes later) asked them to consider how the opponents would have felt at that moment and what THEY would have felt had the opponents celebrated in a similar way? I told them I was HAPPY for them to celebrate a goal but that they should not be excessively victorious about it and should always be respectful of the opposition – and by the way, they shouldn’t leave the pitch without the referees permission.

    Sounds a bit wet blanket, but I felt it was a useful lesson to point out and from which I hope they will have learned and will make them more considerate next time

  4. ianhowgate says:

    He’s having fun and enjoying himself . Isn’t that what we are trying to achieve in youth football ?

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