An athlete’s parents are usually a big part of his or her motivation to excel on the playing field. A parent’s role in a high school athlete’s career begins at a young age as they are the first to begin enriching a child’s life through sports by using their own form of motivation and encouragement. However, once an athlete has reached the high school ranks, the parent’s role changes. The athlete has coaches and trainers to motivate them on the field; the parent’s role shifts to being involved and interested in their child’s athletics, but mostly to being supportive of him or her.
Below are a few tips from Positive Coaching Alliance founder and Executive Director Jim Thompson regarding positive coaching advice to parents:
• Focus on the “big picture.” Help kids take away from sports character lessons that will contribute to their success in life and avoid becoming a “back-seat coach” by leaving performance on the field to the athletes and coach.
• Help your child keep sports in proper perspective by focusing on effort rather than outcome.
• Model “honoring the game” by demonstrating respect at all times for other players and officials.
• Help your child learn not to fear mistakes and to bounce back quickly instead of groaning, slapping your head, frowning or yelling corrective instructions.
• Don’t make derogatory comments about the coach to your child or other parents or members of the team. If you don’t like the coach, keep it to yourself by not poisoning the water.
• If there’s an issue you feel needs intervention, proceed sensibly. There are some situations – such as physical or emotional abuse – where you may decide you need to step in.
As for fans, they are what keep every level of sports on its feet. It means a great deal to a young athlete to see bleachers full of supporters there to watch his or her game as a large crowd adds so much to the atmosphere of the entire event.
Fans also give an athlete a sense of pride, and in fact, the LHSAA praises all supporters of our events because they are the ones who make our contests fun. At times, fans may forget that high school athletes have not reached mature physical performance; therefore, mistakes are expected as education-based athletics are learning experiences for students.
Fans should remember to be positive role models through their actions and show respect for the opposing players, coaches, fans and support groups.
Also, by learning the rules of the game, you allow yourself to understand and appreciate why certain situations take place.
For more information about the LHSAA, visit our website at www.lhsaa.org.