It’s official. Silence is golden. That was the verdict from a group of junior footballers who were put through their paces in a fascinating trial the other day.
The footage, which can be seen on the BBC website, was a real eye-opener for any parent who watches their child play football, or any team sport come to that.
During the trial, the first half of the game was played in normal conditions, with parents cheering on from the sidelines, but during the second period parents had to remain silent for the duration, and the players loved it – claiming their felt under less pressure to perform and were able to concentrate more.
The FA are red-hot on over-enthusiastic parents, and rightly so. You can’t beat simple instructions from the coach and leave the decision-making to the players. I’d don’t know many kids who play better when they are shouted at and have instructions coming from all directions. It’s important they play with freedom, no fear and learn from their mistakes, the right way.
It’s the most effective way for them to improve, especially at the younger age groups when the result isn’t the be all and end all.
* I have bad news and good news. The Barry Goldstein Trophy has been cancelled this season, but it’s great to see the organisers of both the MGBSFL and Maccabi Masters League’s working together in the name of football. It’s a win-win.
A new invitational competition has been set up by David Wolff and Stuart Lustigman for eight teams that have either finished their season or have just a few matches remaining.
Scrabble (incorporating Southgate Harmen), Hendon United Sports Club B, Brady Maccabi and Faithfold B make up Group A, with the other mini-league featuring Waldaf Town, Jewdinese, NL Raiders and Norstar NL Raiders B. The top two from each group will reach the semi-finals. If I had to back any of them, it would be the last one listed.
Lustigman said: "For some teams the season has finished too early. We have pitches and referees available, so why not take advantage of the situation?
"It is also an opportunity to showcase the Masters League in the hope that more players and teams will join when the time is right."
Wolff added: "It is an ideal opportunity for a few of our teams to extend their season and compare their abilities with older opposition. I really hope that everyone enjoys this experience."
This comes hot on the heels of a Masters Rep team beating a combined Norstar London Raiders A/B team 5-2, thanks to efforts from Mark Wagman (2), Andy Binstock (2) and Tony Plaskow.
Rep Team boss Elan Ovits described it as "a great advert for Maccabi Masters football". Amen to that.
* Excitement is building ahead of the semi-finals of the Cyril Anekstein Cup. NLR A welcome back Adam Joselyn and Jamie Wolfson for the visit of Oakwood, while Hendon are favourites to progress against Camden Park. A place at Wingate & Finchley awaits ...
* It finally happened. After months of trying, my son, Jacob, scored his first goal in competitive football. It was worth the wait. We felt a combination of relief and sheer ecstasy and his celebration was quite special. Well done son, I’m proud of you.