Ten Commandments for Sports Parents

11/15/07

  1. Thou shall be sure that your child knows that--win or lose, scared or heroic--you love him/her, appreciate his/her efforts, and that you are not disappointed in him/her.
     

  2. Thou shall try your best to be completely honest about your child's athletic capability, his/her competitive attitude, his/her sportsmanship--and his/her actual skill level.
     

  3. Thou shall be helpful--but don't coach him/her on the way to the rink, track, court, field or pool--or on the way back home.
     

  4. Thou shall teach your child to enjoy competition for competition's sake, remembering that there are lessons to be learned in winning as well as in losing.
     

  5. Harken `O Parents: Try not to relive your athletic life through your child--or try to create an athletic career to replace the one that you never had.
     

  6. Thou shall not compete with the coach--remember, in many cases, the coach becomes a hero to the athletes, a person who can do no wrong.
     

  7. Thou shall not compare the skill, courage or attitudes of your child with that of other members of the squad or team--at least not in his/her hearing.
     

  8. Thou shall get to know the coach so that you can be sure that his\her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to expose your child to him\her.
     

  9. Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your reactions when they bring home tales of woe--or tales of heroics.
     

  10. Thou shall make a point of understanding courage and the fact that it is relative. Some of us climb mountains but fear flight-- some of us will want to fight but turn to jelly if a spider crawls nearby. A child must learn: courage is not absence of fear, but rather doing something in spite of fear.

compliments of appleseeds.org

Ten Commandments for Parents of Wrestlers (More or less)

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002

Make sure your children know that win or lose, scared or heroic, you love them, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them. This will allow them to do their best without fear of failure. Be the person in their lives they can look to for constant, positive encouragement.

Try your best to be completely honest about your child's athletic capability, competitive attitude, sportsmanship and actual skill level.

Be helpful but don't coach them on the way to the field, rink, pool, gym or track or on the way back, at breakfast, and so on. It is tough not to, but it is a lot tougher for children to be inundated with advice, pep talks, and often critical instruction.

Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be "out there trying", to be working to improve their skills and attitudes.

Help them develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, for having fun.

Try not to re-live your athletic life through your children in a way that creates pressure. You fumbled too, you lost as well as won. You were frightened, you backed off at times, you were not always heroic.

Don't pressure them because of your lost pride.

Don't compete with the coach. If the coach becomes an authority figure, it will run from enchantment to disenchantment, etc. with your athlete.

Don't compare the skill, courage, or attitudes of your children with other members of the team, at least within their hearing distance.

Get to know the coach so that you can be assured that his/her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to have your children under his/her leadership.

Always remember children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and criticized. Temper your reaction and investigate before over-reacting. Make a point of understanding courage, and the fact that it is relative. Some of us can climb mountains, and are afraid to fight. Some of us will fight, but turn to jelly if a bee approaches. Everyone is frightened in certain areas.

Explain that courage is not the absence of fear, but a means of doing something in spite of fear or discomfort. The job of the parent of an athletic child is a tough one, and it takes a lot of effort to do it well. It is worth all the effort when you hear your youngster say, "My parents really helped. I was lucky to have the parents I have, in this respect."