Do’s and Don’ts for Youth Sports Parents

Encouraging your kids to play sports is a great way to get kids involved, stay active, let them meet new friends, stay out of trouble and have fun! Furthermore, some parents take the fun right out of the game by emphasizing winning over having fun. This is damaging to your kids and they will remember how you act in the stands, what you say to them, and how you treat other parents, coaches, refs and kids on the team. Remember this!!

Sport’s parents sometimes need to be reminded of some basic “DO”s and DON’Ts” to help children become happy, healthy and confident athletes!

1. Pushing a child to do a sport may lead to conflict, problems between parents and children, and poor motivation. Support your child’s decision and help them find something that they will enjoy instead of telling them they have to play a certain sport.

2. Encourage your child! The biggest motivation for kids to play sports is having FUN with their friends. They often drop out because they are no longer finding the activity enjoyable. Be open with your child if you see they are not enjoying an activity anymore. Really listen to them when they talk to you about why they are not having fun anymore.

3. Enjoy what you child DOES and CAN do by being supportive and not too serious about it. Be a good influence and help them set realistic goals.  Get excited for them when they reach it! Don’t push your goals on your child. Parent’s sometimes try to seek out their own identity by living through their child. Not a good idea!

4. DON’T look for excuses for losing a game. It doesn’t help anyone by blaming the weather, equipment, coaches or refs. Kids will pick up on this and will always be blaming others for losing. No one wants to be around a complainer!

5. Don’t just focus on winning. Encourage them to try their BEST and participate to their fullest potential. Sometimes when a child is just focused on winning they don’t play as hard as they could because they are so concerned about winning.

6. DON’T criticize or yell instructions during the game at anyone!!! This will only embarrass your child and yourself! Hold your temper!! Be positive and if you want to tell your child something, do it nicely! Don’t give a list of things not to do! If you’re upset with the coach..most coaches have a 24 hour cool down rule. If you’re still mad about something the next morning then call the coach (honestly, try to resist this unless it’s something serious!) If your child has something to say, encourage them to talk openly with their coach as well. This helps to develop their communication skills for life as well instead of always having their parents do it for them. *Always think about what you say before you say it!

7. Show respect for the coach! Most coaches are there because they like the sport and care about the kids. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Showing respect is setting a good example for your child and teaches them to always have respect for their coach whether they like how they coach or not.

8. Let your child make mistakes and learn from them without yelling at them! Don’t expect perfection.

Playing sports as a child is ALL ABOUT HAVING A GOOD TIME!! You can make or break this experience..so please think before you do! Be postive and supportive! We want our children to develop, grow, be happy, healthy and loving people!

Hands in now…1, 2, 3 BE LOVING & SUPPORTIVE PARENTS! GO TEAM PIC!

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Picture courtesy of Tyrone Reeder & Port Moody Hockey Rink

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