Positive Parenting on the Sidelines

by on June 11th, 2015
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If you are involved in youth sports then there is a good chance that you have had the opportunity to witness bad behavior on sidelines. On almost every team there is a mom or dad who has grand dreams of the NBA or NFL. They dream of the day their little tyke will grow up and fulfill all their dreams.

We all get excited about seeing our children play and it is natural to cheer and bounce about . The true test is to find the balance between positive enthusiasm and the overzealous “daddy ball” personalities that can overtake us all if we are not careful.

5 Simple Guidelines for Sports Parents:1. Have fun. For kids sports should be fun. With all the money in professional sports today, it is hard for parents to understand that it’s just good fun to young athletes. The primary goal should be to have fun and enjoy the competition. 2. Don’t Set your own agenda. Young players compete in sports for many reasons. They enjoy the competition, like the social aspect, love being part of a team, and enjoy the challenge of setting goals. You might have a different agenda than your child and you need to recognize that football or baseball is your child’s sport, not yours. 3. It’s not about the trophies. We live in a society that focuses instant gratification and success. Teach your child to focus on challenge of the game and not the number of wins or trophies. The need to award a trophy to every player regardless of outcome is a dangerous thing. Remember, adults don’t receive rewards for coming in last. This is a good time to focus on trying your best, work harder, but in the end sports are about so much more than the win. 4. Be a role model. Show composure on the sidelines. Children will most definitely mimic the behavior of their parents. How you react to a close game or a questionable call will teach your child how they should react. Stay calm and composed and always be in control during games so your child will see positive behavior. 5. Refrain from game-time coaching. During competition, it is time to just let them play. This is the time that athletes need trust in the training they received from their coach. Sideline coaching truly teaches children that they don’t always have to listen to authority when mommy or daddy is in their ear saying something different. Let the coach….coach.

In the end, remember to ask you child the right questions. If you ask, “Did you win?” your child will think winning is important. If you ask, “Did you have fun?” he or she will assume having fun is important. There was a time, less than 15 years ago when children played different sports in different seasons and took summers off for camp. Those times have clearly changed with focus being put on excellence in one sport year round. Some sports focus from the age of 6 or 7 through high school, with dreams of college and beyond. Just remember that the odds are most youngsters won’t make it to the NFL, but the life lessons you can give your child during youth lacrosse can last a life time and help shape a great attitude.


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