The Power of Silent Support in Grassroots Football
The Silent Support Weekend returns in 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.
Show Your Support
Rally together with fellow grassroots supporters and add an extra sense of unity to your club’s game by joining in the Silent Support Weekend! Gather at the local pitch to show your solidarity and appreciation for the players, coaches and everyone involved in grassroots football. Let’s come together to create a powerful moment of shared support that will reverberate throughout our team and community.
Understand the Movement
Invest in understanding and learning about the movement you are supporting. Read up on players’ experiences, the key goals of Silent Support weekends, and unique ways that your club enriches its local community. There may be many stories to discover about the collective successes that have come through grassroots football – these can provide further motivation for why it’s worth gathering for a Silent Support weekend. Sharing this knowledge with friends and newcomers to the team will help them get involved too!
Attend a Match
As part of a Silent Support weekend, show solidarity to clubs and build relationships with local players and coaches. Attend matches as a group, bring printed banners that express your support, or offer yourself as an extra volunteer to help out on the sidelines. A few simple gestures can help athletes focus and feel supported – it can also be a great way for fans to show their appreciation for the team.
Show Up and Lend Quiet Support
Be present and show up for the team – even if you can’t make a loud cheer, your presence can lend quiet support. Make sure to pack banners or flags with the team’s logo that each fan can hold up in the stands. Whether they are on the field or in the stands, your group’s visible display of unity may boost morale and give players a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Participate in Social Media Campaigns
Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to offering your silent support in grassroots football. Showing your solidarity and enthusiasm for the team can be as simple as using relevant hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Think of creative ways to express your support such as creating social media frames around #GoTeam or posting video messages from fans wishing the team well in upcoming games. Joining together in this way not only amplifies your collective voice but also rallies others who may be unaware of the great things happening at their local pitch!
Following the previous launch of the Silent Support weekend in November 2023, England Football received feedback from over 3000 people who participated last time around and we’ve taken that on board to tailor our next Silent Support Weekend. This time around the coaches will be permitted to coach throughout the match, with parents and supporters showing their backing from the sidelines through applause only. This allows the players to not only step up, but feel they can get support from their coach if they need too.Following the first Silent Support Weekend with clubs and leagues across England, below are some of the reactions from the young players:
“It was good as we got to make the decisions not our coach, not our parents, just the team.” – U12s player
“I think as a team we don’t really talk enough. We got a bit better in the second half but it’s something I think we need to work on.” – U15s player
“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
However, the participant in the survey did miss the support and guidance from their coach.
Overall, the benefits on player development are clear, it helps them to talk between players 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.
If you’re interested in signing up to the second weekend, please contact your local County FA.