• Children have more need for example than criticism.
• Make athletic participation for your child and others a positive experience.
• Attempt to relieve the pressure of competition, not increase it. A child is easily affected by outside influences.
• Be kind to your child's coach and to officials. The coach is a volunteer giving of personal time and money to provide a recreational activity for your child. The coach is providing a valuable community service often without reward other than the personal satisfaction of having served their community.
• The opponents are necessary friends. Without them your child could not participate meaningfully.
• Applaud good plays by your team and by members of the opposing team.
• Between the exuberance of the winner and the disappointment of the loser, we find a person called the umpire. All of them follow the same creed to watch every move of every player and to call the game to the best of his/her ability.
• Accept the results of each game.
• "I love to watch you play!" is a great way to end each game.
Encourage the child to:
• Be gracious in victory, and turn defeat to victory by helping the child work towards improvement.
Parental evaluation carries a great deal of weight with the pre-adolescent. The attitude shown by parents at games towards their child, the opposing team, the officials and the coach influence the child's behavior in sports. Criticism, disrespect for officials and opponents by over-anxious or over-protective parents bent on immediate success rather than long-range benefits undermines the purpose of sports and brings into the game stresses beyond those of competition and stresses which behavior not in keeping with the spirit of the game.