Your behavior, as a parent, should set an example for your child’s behavior during fall sporting events. Sports are all about team building, confidence, leadership and making new friends. However, some parents exhibit poor behavior, which takes away from the benefits of participating in sports.
What Should You Do at Your Child’s Fall Sporting Events
Because most fall sports takes place outdoors, it is important to monitor your behavior accordingly.
• Do cheer all players- So your child is the star athlete of your local middle school football team, but some of the players could obviously use some practice. Should you only praise your child, or offer encouragement to all of the players? Offering encouragement to all players will boost their self-esteem, thus helping them become better players. By criticizing other players, especially at a young age, will lead to resentment from parents and your child’s teammates.
• Talk to the other parents- Whether you have an outgoing personality or not, it is very important to make friends with the other parents on the team. If your child decides to stick with the sport through high school, you may be forced to see the same parents for quite a few years.
• Bring food and drink for the whole team- When I participated in grade school sports, the best parents were the ones who brought food and drink for everyone on the team after a game or practice. Do not just bring something special for one player because it can cause resentment among the team. However, coordinate with the other parents to switch off who brings what every week.
• Act sportsman like- Be nice to the other team, all players and especially your own child. Any criticism at a young age can turn into resentment very fast. However, positive feedback encourages everyone to do better and have a good time. Sports at a young age are not about wins, but rather leadership and team building.
What not to do at Your Childs Fall Sporting Events
Outdoor arenas make it much easier to chant, yell and criticize, which can be both a good and bad thing.
• Do not argue with the ref- The worst parents who attend their child’s games are the ones that constantly argue with the ref over a bad call. The referees are humans and are subject to make mistakes, and will make mistakes on occasion. Remember to act sportsmanlike and to respect the officials.
• Do not yell at other players- Kids at a young to middle age are subject to make mistakes. Remember they are not at the college or pro level yet and have a lot of practice to go before they can reach those stages. If certain players are not performing up to par, the last thing you want to do is call them out in from of their teammates. Keep your comments to yourself, unless they are positive.
• Do not call out your child- Is your child the reason the team missed the game winning touchdown? Praise their efforts and offer to help them practice, but under no circumstances call them out for being a poor player on the team.
• Do not argue or fight with other parents- Parents who argue or fight with other parents provide a poor role model for their children. Remember at the end of the day that the game was just a game. Be respectful at all times and never start fights with other parents. I have seen this in the past, where parents would get in fights and it did not reflect well on their character or the team.