Here are ways that parents can contribute to a positive youth sports culture so that children will have fun and learn positive character traits to last a lifetime.
Before the Game
- Commit to Honoring the Game in action and language no matter what others may do.
- Tell your children before each game that you will be proud of them regardless of how well they perform.
During the Game
- Fill your children’s “Emotional Tanks” through praise and positive recognition to help them play their best.
- Fill their teammates’ tanks, too!
- Do not instruct your child during game action or at breaks; let the coaches coach.
- Cheer good plays by both teams.
- Mention good calls by the official to other parents.
- If you disagree with an official’s call, Honor the Game – BE SILENT!
- If other spectators yell at officials, gently remind them to Honor the Game.
- Don’t do anything in the heat of the moment that you will regret after the game. Ask yourself, “What do I want to model right now for my child?”
- Remember to have fun and enjoy the game.
After the Game
- Thank the officials for doing a difficult job for little or no pay. Thank the coaches for their commitment and effort.
- When reviewing the game with your children, ask rather than tell. Instead of immediately sharing your opinions or telling them how they can improve, ask questions such as “What did you learn from that game?” or “What was your favorite play?” or “What was the most fun part of that game?”
- Remember to give your children truthful and specific praise…not just the typical “good game” but, for example, “I saw how well you moved your feet on defense.”
- Tell your children again that you are proud of them whether the team won or lost.
This blog provided by the Positive Coaching Alliance.