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Butthole soccer dads are the worst—and it’s really tough not to be one. Getting caught up emotionally in a game, especially if your kid is involved, is insanely difficult to avoid, but it’s imperative to your child’s mental health and your sterling reputation within the community. So JUST... CALM... DOWN. Here are some tips to get you there.

1. YOU’RE NOT THE COACH.

The coach is the coach. There’s a very good chance that any advice you scream at the field will run counter to what the coach is saying—which will lead to confusion, and the loss of games. So bite your tongue, smile like an idiot, and clap like a seal.

2. CHEER FOR BOTH TEAMS.

Your only response to action on the field should be positive reinforcement of the entire team. And if the other team scores, model what an awesome good sport you are by cheerfully yelling, “Nice shot, other team! Shake it off, our team! YOU CAN DO IT!”

3. GET A GRIP.

If you’re getting too caught up in the action and feel the need to offer unsolicited advice, please just walk away. And then tell yourself, “I refuse to treat a six-year-old team of Mighty Mites as if they were the Timbers during the playoffs. BREATHE.”

4. TEACH SPORTS ETIQUETTE.

Along with your kid, thank the coach after every game (while NEVER offering advice, see tip #1). Encourage your kids to never over-celebrate victories, and to shake off a loss. It’s only one game in a season, so focus on what’s been improving over the long term. And super important: Keep after-game critiques in the car to an absolute minimum.

5. PLAY WITH THEM.

Get your kid to show you what they’ve learned at practice and on the field. Offer a little advice, but mostly just have fun and let them teach you—they’ll learn more, and you’ll remember it’s just a game. BECAUSE (spoiler alert) IT IS.