Picture you’re at a game. You see a parent who constantly yells at their child, the ref and/or the coach. A parent like that not only ruins the game for everyone else, but most importantly they ruin it for the child. All these attributes negatively affect the child’s experiences. You already know to steer clear from that image but there’s still a lot more to do to be an awesome sport parent for your child. Your part on how much your child is going to enjoy playing sports is a lot larger than you might think.
1. The Most Important Thing – Have FUN
Win or lose, all that really matters is that your child is having fun. Does your child enjoy playing basketball? Do they like the coach and the other players on the team? These are some of the questions you should ask. Your child might not fall in love with the game and the environment immediately, but that’s totally normal as change can be difficult. Give them time but check frequently.
2. The Car Ride Home is Key
The car ride home is just as important as the game itself. Your child’s mood will be determined by the outcome of the game and you need to treat them the same regardless. They should know that you love and support them no matter what the outcome of a game was.
3. Don’t Force a Discussion
Sometimes your son or daughter might be heartbroken from a loss and they just don’t want to talk to you about it for a while. The best thing you can do here is to give your child some space and let them figure out their emotions.
4. Keep it Positive
Sports provide great opportunities for children to learn valuable life lessons. They teach the value of hard work, commitment and teamwork. Developing these attributes at a young age will go a long way and having fun while doing it is a win-win situation.
5. Finding the Right Coach
Finding the right coach is especially important for your child. The relationship between the coach and your child will be a huge factor on how much they will be excited for going to practices and games.
SBA coaches are committed to develop a love for the game within their players while teaching all of them the value of responsibility, respect and teamwork.
6. Let the Coach Do His Job
After your child has been placed on a team or in a program, it’s time to let the coach do their thing which is — coach. It’s not easy to watch your child make mistakes. It’s natural to feel the urge to correct your child (especially if you have a basketball background) but all SBA coaches are trained and have the necessary knowledge to teach them the right way to play.
7. Talk to the Coach after Practice
While it’s considered rude to interrupt the coach while they’re working with children, all of the coaches are happy to hear their players’ parents feedback and talk about any concerns that they might have after a practice. Some parents may tend to gossip with other parents about the issues they have with their coach but this does not solve anything. A parent needs to communicate with the coach and together they will figure out what’s best for the child.
8. Show good Body Language at Practices and Games
Parents might not realize this but many times throughout the game, a child will look up and try to find his or her parent in the crowd. If they see their parent(s) grumpy and/or angry, this might affect their mood as well. Therefore, it’s important to maintain and display a positive attitude. If your child sees you smiling, you will see them smiling back.
9. Cheer for the whole team
Many parents tend to only cheer for their child during games. Cheering for all the players shows your child you feel that teamwork and supporting each other is important. It will also help maintain a positive atmosphere and encourage the players to play as a team.
It’s important to remember that you’re a fan watching the game. You’re not a player, not a referee, not a coach, you’re a fan! Your role at the game is not only to support your child but to support the team and maintain a positive attitude.
10. Don’t Try to Live Out Your Athletic Dream via your Child
We all have missed opportunities in our lives. Some parents, however, try to make their child live out their own athletic dreams to make up for their own missteps. Let your child achieve their dream, not your dream! Let them learn and become better through their own sport experiences.
11. Steer Clear from Comparing Your Child to Others
Comparing your child to other players (children) will not only put unnecessary pressure on your child but it’s also unfair. Some children develop and grow earlier than others. Just let your child be him or herself.
12. Volunteer to Help your Child’s Team and/or Club
Whether it’s becoming a coach, an assistant coach, a team manager, your team’s scorekeeper, program leader, etc. there are many opportunities to choose from. If interested get in touch with the SBA 416 551 7554, or click here to volunteer.